Our project will be addressing the challenge of humanitarian relief and creating more sustainable and resilient communities. When natural disasters strike, the lack of technology hampers relief efforts especially in the event of internet outages as seen during the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake and many other disasters. Thus we decided to create a mobile and web app to address this issue here at the Hack The North.
There have been applications of this technology moreso in the industrial sector, however we have decided to try to bring this paradigm further into practical application. We built an iOS mobile app that creates decentralized mesh networks with a mesh to cloud functionality. Creating quick decentralized and local communities is beneficial in emergency situations such as these.
In the event of internet outages during disasters, localized communication is possible. Data can hop between mobile devices using peer to peer functionality without going through a centralized system. Our framework sends user geospatial data (latitude, longitude, altitude) through the mesh nodes until it reaches a device with internet capability. The mesh to cloud functionality then sends the data to our REST apis where most of the work is done to ensure efficiency and reliability. We take this crowdsourced geospatial data and modelled it onto 3D app on our server. We used the leap motion to manipulate the world space of the 3D model on the server. Users can post their current safety status to Facebook like Safety Check in a sense, however now supplemented with the power of mesh networks during internet outages. We also created a physical hologram for the 3D model for fun.
The ability to connect a large number of people in a dense area during disasters is not only a means for communication but also generating meaningful data models for first responders and the media outlets around the world.