In light of the tragic recent events regarding the Sarah Everard case, we felt we could try and tackle the very relevant and serious issue surrounding safety at times when you are walking alone from, for example, a friend's house, a nightclub late at night, through dimly lit areas or indeed anywhere you feel uneasy. This idea also seemed very fitting for the health and wellbeing goal of our overarching sustainability theme for this Hackathon.

What it does

When setting off on a journey, you can search for a destination e.g. "Tesco" or "Chestnut St" and the list shown will display the locations matching the search criteria within a 5km radius.
After selecting your sought destination and pressing confirm, a route is plotted and your journey time starts. We designed our app with the functionality that notify the user's pre-chosen contacts regarding their location if they stray too far off the route to to their destination (30m). The app monitors the users location as they walk and can send repeat notifications based on their chosen settings.

How we built it

We used react-native to build our app, along with Google and Twilio APIs for Maps and SMS Messaging Services, storing data locally with SQLite.

Challenges we ran into

None of our team had previous experience using react-native and so was quite the challenge learning how to use and implement reactive-native to build our app.

The main challenges we ran into were implementing the use of Google and Twilio APIs for Maps and SMS Messaging. The requests were sometimes infrequent and inconsistent, slowing development.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The app is able to be built and the backend functionality for the main safety features are there.

What we learned

Our experience of react-native has been quite 'brute-forced' but we have all learned a lot about the framework and how to quickly build functioning apps with it.

What's next for SafeSteps

The safety features functionality to be polished and some other integrations such as Facebook Sign-In.

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