The idea for this app came from the desire to help those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD has an infinite amount of triggers for those who suffer from it. These triggers can take form in a smell, a particular sight or feeling, a taste, a phrase, an action, and so on and so forth. However, the largest trigger ratio comes from sound, especially for people who suffer from PTSD due to being in war zones. PTSD episodes can be triggered from the sound of a car backfiring, fireworks, or other such loud noises. However, we found that there may be a way to help mitigate these episodes before they even start. When a human hears something, it's after the sound wave has already passed us, after the action has happened - technically, we are hearing in the past. This is not so for computers. Computers can process a sound as soon as it detects it, which is a lot sooner than a human can. So, if a computer can process a potentially triggering sound before a human can, how can that help someone with PTSD? Through a process that is quite similar to Music Therapy, which is already being used to treat those with PTSD. The idea is that as soon as a sound above a certain decibel and with a certain repetition pattern is detected, a phone app would play a song from the user's choice playlist, until the sound waves have dropped back into an acceptable range.
What it does
Prevention.Through.Song.Disturbance (P.T.S.D) is an app that, when prompted, starts monitoring sound around the user's phone. As the app takes the sound in, it passes it to a variable, which is then used to convert the value into an approximate decibel. This decibel is then displayed on a graph, comparing it to a set threshold and other decibel values that are being passed into the graph. If a decibel value exceeds the threshold, a sound is played using Spotify's API. Once the decibel value drops below the threshold again, the sound is then stopped.
How We Built It
This application was built in Android Studio. We utilized Spotify's API and several different software development kits (SDK's).
Challenges We Ran Into
One of our biggest problems was getting an accurate decibel reading from the phone and from our calculations. We collected the amplitude of sound and used a conversion formula to get the approximate decibel values. Another huge problem we ran into was just getting the Spotify API to work with out existing app and not just play a looping sound/playlist as soon as the app was starting on the phone.
Accomplishments That We're Proud Of
It's incredible that we managed to produce a full working app, as none of us have ever really worked with Android Studios, especially not to this level.
What We Learned
We learned how truly difficult app development is. We also learned how to interact with a smart device through machine level code then how to translate that over to a higher coding language. And, of course, how to properly implement an API into an app (different from a web based service) so that it can run alongside the app, when, and only when, it is supposed to.
What's next for Prevention.Through.Song.Disturbance
In the future, we are hoping to have an easier user interface on the application as well as being able to integrate the users playlists into the application.