The ideas and motivations of Safebook originated from the mixing of two different ideas from two of HackNYU's sponsors: Facebook and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

What it does

Safebook serves two purposes:

  • Being used as a mobile relief tool during events of a disaster: the application provides numerous ways for the users by suggesting first aid treatments, locating a shelter and displaying data about last known location of relatives or friends in a map.

  • Community tool for connecting people together and help each other out: shelter locations are crowdsourced by users who found a safe and stable meeting point for everyone to regroup. In case of an injury, Messenger's API allows the bot to send the current coordinates of the user to the emergencies without any delay.

How we built it

The concept and design were made with a website named ManyChat. It allowed us to quickly plan a storyboard on how users would be able to navigate during the disaster and which questions should be asked to ensure the safety of everyone.

After asking for feedback from both sponsors (a huge thank you) and correcting the loopholes of the old Safebook, a Messenger bot was born. Made with Node.js, stored in GitHub and deployed via Heroku, Safebook will now be able to help people.

Challenges we ran into

Initially, the team thought about making a web application from scratch with the usage of the necessary APIs such as Messenger. The backend was meant to be written in Java and frontend with React Native along with a couple of libraries to support web display.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

All team members had a very positive experience for their NYU18 Hackathon and each member came from a different background:

  • Two high school students, very eager to learn about technology;
  • One university student studying electrical engineering with a passion for Computer science;
  • And one university student from Canada, Montreal in software engineering.

What we learned

On the project, we went through a lot of discussion on how sentences should be expressed since the user just went through a disaster incident. There was a good amount of focus on how IU/UX should be made for the audience in order to make sure that the user feels reassured. During break time, the team spent a good time learning about each other. Everyone shared their knowledge: ideas for future hackathon projects.

What's next for Safebook

Implement more powerful tools in:

  • VR/AR technology for searching victims caught under rubbles;
  • machine learning for a smarter first aid bot which generates a summary for the paramedics;
  • IoT home automation gadgets that can use the messenger bot.

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