We first met as a team because we all wanted to build something that can create social impact in our daily lives as female college students. We were especially curious how technology can counteract bystander effect that fails to prevent frequent sexual and verbal assaults that happen in parties. This led us to brainstorm an idea to build an app will help anyone in either urgent danger or uncomfortable situations to easily request help from trained residential assistants and supervisors on campus. We also wanted to address the problem of lack of witness and details due to the bystanders scared of reporting due to consequences of being in the presence of alcohol or drug use. We wanted a safe yet quick way for bystanders to report the incident by allowing anonymous request for help.
What it does
Torchtech allows students to ask help in 3 situations: urgent, potential danger situation, and safe walk. When a student asks for help, a message is sent directly to resident assistants and advisors on campus who can easily track the students' location and navigate to their locations to assist them. The app also allows both victim and bystander to report the incident so that anyone can easily keep track of the situation.
How I built it
Challenges I ran into
One really significant challenge we ran into was how to integrate both the backend and the frontend. We wanted to create a web app which was authentic and hence decided to build both backend and frontend. It took a lot of research about Flask, Twilio and other APIs like the Google location API to figure it out.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
It can reach to places where the police can’t reach in a short period of time. this app automatically sends alert messages to the people in your neighborhood (1 mile distance & who are users of this app)
What I learned
All of us learnt something new. Everyone who made this app used a skill that they had never used before. We were forced to use our brains and ingenuity to bring the app together.
What's next for TORCHTECH
We want to continue building this app so that it is scaled across any college campus, especially on our campuses in 3 different countries!