What it does

People with dementia, stemming from Alzheimer’s disease as well as other conditions, face many challenges in their daily lives. One of these challenges is recalling the names and faces of loved ones. Our app provides an aide for recall through the “flashcards” feature, in which the user can flip between faces and the names/relationships of people close to them, as well as a “gallery” feature to scroll through a list of these people. The “tagging” feature allows a caregiver or support person to upload photos which are automatically tagged by comparing with a personalized database of people (each of which is associated with a name, at least one face image, and a relationship to the user, such as “daughter”). We planned to add a “photos” feature for the user to scroll through all the uploaded photos with their tags, but this is not yet implemented due to our time constraints.

Additionally, we were inspired by reading about the power of music therapy in helping people with dementia to reorient themselves and feel more calm. Our app’s “music” feature allows the user to choose between several genres of music to automatically play from the corresponding Spotify playlist.

How we built it

Reconnect was built in java using Android Studio. We used the Microsoft Azure Face API for facial recognition in the tagging feature, as well as the Spotify API for the music feature. Our simplistic app design is meant make each feature as user-friendly and easy-to-access as possible.

What's next

Looking forward, the app could be improved by working more on the facial recognition algorithm to get more accurate and consistent results, as well as adding in more features. A “reminders” feature could periodically send reminders to the user about scheduled commitments and tasks, such as taking medication. A “contacts” feature could show each of the people from the user’s database along with a phone number and/or email address. (The commitments, tasks, and contact information could be inputted by the user or a caretaker / support person.) The music feature could be extended to include playlists from specific years / decades, which could be automatically chosen for the user based on profile information such as birth date and the year of onset of dementia.

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