We were inspired after conducting user interviews with emergency responders and learning from their stories on how communication between real-time events such as traffic, train tracks, and who has safely arrived at the scene can get lost. Pharos serves as a beacon to safely guide its users to the scene while acting as a communication tool across emergency teams.
What it does
Pharos guides responders with real-time updates, provided from other ambulances, fire departments, and police force by placing various obstacle pins on maps, on their travel conditions to the scene. The user can also check-in when he or she arrives at the scene to inform others that he or she arrived to their destination safely and request for additional resources if needed.
How we built it
Pharos was built with the target users' needs in mind after we received many stories from responders, We provided the best user experience by integrating many mapping APIs like Leaflet and Mapquest. We worked from bottom up with low-fidelity wireframes with paper and pen to Adobe Experience for high-fidelity interactive prototyping. This was then translated into development using HTML, CSS, Heroku for Node JS, and Mongo DB.
Challenges we ran into
So many features with so little time within a hackathon. We decided to drill down on the primary requirements for Pharos to keep our best foot forward for the tech demo, but we created an interactive video to showcase our thoughts in the future. We also had difficulties working with APIs, and due to time constraints, we had to redesign the front-end or scrap the feature in order to proceed.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are really proud of how Pharos works in branding and how this app can provide value to first responders. We really enjoy the overall look and feel of the design, and we are confident in the user experience where the design doesn't interfere with their travel plans to the disaster scene.
What we learned
We learned several things like the limitations of the Leaflet library, to learning stories from EMTs and other first responders, the collaborate workflow from interacting with other disciplines from user flows, wireframes, and development, learning more about npm and Heroku.
What's next for Pharos
Depends on opportunities to proceed after the Expedition Hacks HSV 2017 conclude. ;)