There has been a rise in gun violence and other violent crimes in recent times and we felt that there needed to be an app where anyone can stay safe wherever they travel. The team consists of three girls and a boy. Being students, we have seen first hand what it is like to feel unsafe and vulnerable in an open area. In light of the recent events in both Sandy Hook and Florida, we've felt the pain and torment of being afraid of travelling through certain regions. We realize that it's imperative to take a stand and understand how important it is to find ways to avoid future atrocities like these. Furthermore, the girls on our team especially have always been told to stick together and have been intimidated by the world; whether it be walking home alone or driving to a restaurant to meet friends, it has always been a source of fear that they are travelling through a potentially dangerous area. We wanted to be able to protect fellow individuals travelling alone by helping them get over their hesitance through the use of this app, Safe & Sound.
What it does
Safe&Sound is a mobile iOS app to stay safe wherever you are. It helps users by alerting them when they are entering an unsafe region or county and alerts the police in case they are in danger. The first tab consists of settings for the user, with two toggle buttons. The first being a toggle (or switch) for whether the police get a notification when the user is in an area with a higher crime rate. When turned on, it leads the user to sign up for Safetrek with their mobile number. If the user is in a dangerous area for more than twenty minutes, it sends a notification to the police. Since there are people who live in areas with slightly higher crime rates, they have the option of turning this off. The second switch is for whether the user wants updates when they are in a less secure area. Again, due to the fact that there are residents in some areas with less security and they would not want constant notifications, giving them the option to turn them off while their in their area of residency. The next tab is for a user to be able to navigate and see a heat map for the more dangerous areas around their current location. This gives them the option to enter an address and gives them a route. If there is any point where the user goes through a suspicious area, the app alerts them and asks if they would like to reroute and gives them a new route to follow to their destination.
How we built it
We used swift in xcode and created an app that allows users to find safe routes to walk or drive by using the Google Maps API. We created a heatmap to show the dangerous areas throughout Virginia based on the Census Bureau’s number of unsafe acts of crime per total population. In addition, we used Safetrek in order for the user to be able to alert the police when they are in danger.
Challenges we ran into
Safetrek was not properly working with the phone and was giving us trouble with completing the phone registration and returning to the application itself. The other challenge we had was with using the Google Maps APIs and implementing it within the app in order to show a route through safe neighborhoods and areas.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're most proud of being able to create an app that we believe can make a difference in lives as well as being able to integrate all the different parts and consolidate it into one functioning app. After all the violence that has happened just within the last three and a half months, we feel that we created an app which can be used by anyone to feel safe and stay safe wherever they go. A family always wants its members to get where they are going and to be safe and sound.
What we learned
We learned how to work with Google Cloud APIs and insert them into our app.
What's next for Safe&Sound
We hope to overlay our map properly with the heat map that we created by hand by calculating different data points, as well as implement live updates and alerts on any dangerous events occurring near someone. Currently, our map is only a Virginia app and we will be expanding to the entire United States of America, and most likely further.
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