Our campus can be a dangerous place. Due to the disproportionately high number of assaults that students learned of in the Fall 2014 semester, we decided that something needed to be done. Of course there are emergency phone boxes posted throughout campus, but pedestrians rarely notice these, and are even more likely to miss them under stress.
Our Android application, Stroll Safe, allows students to walk home knowing that the ability to phone the police is a few seconds away. The user simply places their finger on the phone, and disarms it when they get home. If the user removes their finger from the phone for more than 2 seconds on their strolll, the phone assumes the person is under attack. It then gives the user 20 seconds to disarm it with a pass code, or it will notify the police,.
The first time the app begins, the user is prompted to choose a passcode by entering a 4-digit number twice. It then prompts a user to touch the screen and enter Release Mode. In this mode, users can touch and hold the screen to activate our app’s main functionality. If their finger leaves the screen, they have 2 seconds to press it again or the app will switch to Lock Mode. Once in this mode, they have 20 seconds (or 3 attempts) to put in the right passcode. They can also touch the timer to speed it up if they feel threatened. If the correct passcode is not input, the police will be called. For the purposes of testing, we have substituted one of our numbers instead of 911.
If a user wishes to switch from the app, they can switch from Release Mode to Shake Mode by moving their finger to the shaking phone icon. While in Shake Mode, they can safely close the app by pressing the red X or can switch the app into the background. However, if the user shakes their phone while Stroll Safe is running Shake Mode in the background, the app will enter lock mode and the same 20 second timer will countdown. If the user kills the app while it is running in the background, the police will NOT be called unless the app is killed while in the counting down Lock Mode.