We decided to create this app after the controversies of different parent tracking apps and the lack of any safe tracking apps. With controversies in the past year, the average consumer is afraid of having their location and data sold to third parties without their consent, so we created an ethical tracking app that offers the same security. We know that we live in a world ruled by Big Brother and we decided that we wanted to be different and that is what inspired Little Brother.
What it does
We created 2 apps, 1 for the child and 1 for the parent. The parent sets up the account and enables communication to the child account. The parent account can add multiple children and monitor them all. The parent can then determine if the child is on a motored vehicle and if the child shouldn’t be on the vehicle the parent can send a message to the child to ask them about their details and if they are truly concerned they can enable location. The child app doesn’t have much functionality other than the ability to send messages back to the parent.
How we built it
We built the 2 apps using Android Studio, Java and XML. We decided to use an accelerometer to determine the speed of the phone/child and then we used Machine Learning to determine which speed the app should be set at to register as a motored vehicle. We decided to use SMS/Texting instead of data/internet because we know that SMS is more reliable and stable than data and that we didn’t want to run into issues with connectivity when it comes to a child’s safety. We used java as our main programming language to program it and then we used XML to edit the app contents and create the app.
Challenges we ran into
We came into lots of problems all along the way but always found a way to persevere through creative problem solving skills. We were unable to receive SMS and send SMS through Android Studio but we found a way to solve that by implementing new solutions and reworking our code. We were originally unable to figure out a way to calibrate our sensors and our speed but after we tried different sensors such as Linear Accelerometers, Regular Accelerometers, Location and other avenues we used a solution that involved a lot of math and calculation combined with the Compass and other acceleration-based sensors. We found a lot of difficulty navigating the Android Studio UI but we got more and more familiar with it as we researched online and experimented with different solutions. We also came across a more unconventional problem which was that one of our teammates wasn’t able to download the necessary software because he didn’t have enough storage space so he had to run a Virtual Machine on a server in order to download the software and use it. We also came across a lot of problems with how Android Studio dealth with our UI and the different styling choices we made but we were able to solve them by reconfiguring our code.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of the fact that we have a working app. We are very proud of the fact that we have an app that can get permissions and the ability to configure SMS. We are very proud of the ability to detect speed. We are very proud of creating a user-friendly UI. We are very proud of using Android Studio and Java after our first time.
What we learned
We learnt how to use Java. We learnt how to edit XML files. We learnt how to make Android apps. We learnt how to use Objects and Classes. We learnt how to use Java libraries. We learnt how to use hardware and hardware calibration.
What's next for Little Brother Ethical Safe Tracking
We plan on releasing the app to the app store. We plan on allowing granting more than 1 device the ability to monitor a child. We plan on allowing further permissions in the app. We plan on creating custom push notifications. We plan on creating support for IOS. We plan on allowing parents to view their child’s status from all platforms such as desktop. We plan on creating support for Android Watches.