We are all looking forward to getting back to travelling both for work and pleasure. However in this new Covid World we are now concerned, even afraid to venture far from home and into unfamiliar places. Travellers may not follow the news in the locations they are travelling. Moreover, Travellers are less likely to know where to find information, what social media pages to check, or local websites or even may not speak the language. In this circumstance we have a solution that can assist.

What it does

We have built an App dedicated to the sole purpose of receiving Alerts - be it a Warning or a helpful Notification from Authorities. Whilst this is useful and needed, it still needs a local authority to engage and start sending alerts. We have now come up with a way for the App will pick a real time feed of Public Safety related topics and show on the Map any incidents and as it relates to your anonymised location. The App will use a combination of AI and Machine Learning to filter in and importantly filter out topics and situations which are not Public Safety related. We will input a series of Public Safety Topics for example Covid-19 is a topic and Active Shooter is another. If any social media posts are detected and the location is determined (by our algorithm) to be near you - then this will display as a pulse on the Map. The AlertPulse will pulsate more or less and based on the seriousness of the situation. It will give you a contextual view of an incident and be instantly relatable to your current and anonymised location.

How I built it

We developed a web based platform using PHP & JavaScript and integrated the Firebase API. We developed our own proprietary geofencing logic that requires no personally identifiable information (PII) from App users. We have integrated Google Firebase AI and ML and set this to assist filter and curate information.

Challenges I ran into

Location services on the mobile phone that does not require the user to allow location to run in the background. - is a major challenge. Whenever you are using GPS in the background you are draining the battery. Our solution does not require users location to run continuously and indeed we state less than 1-2% of the battery will be used over the whole day.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We wanted to ensure a single alert can be sent in multiple languages. We came up with a unique method that allows the Admin to send a single alert in as many languages as they choose. The app user can tap the alert language icon to select their preferred language. This will be ideal for places that heavily rely on overseas tourists that may not speak the language.

What I learned

We have discovered that you can easily deliver vital information and updates to a user based on their location - anonymously. Traditional methods such as SMS, Social Media and email all require the user to register and give away personal data. This is the generally accepted methods as how critical communication is disseminated. We asked why? And can we do it where the Citizens are totally anonymous to us and the people sending alerts. The answer was YES! This will be ideal for people who are visiting a place temporarily or will be unfamiliar with how local information is disseminated.

What's next for UgoRound Public Safety Alerts for Travellers

Our solution is ready and can be deployed - the real time AlertPulse is under dev and will be ready soon. All places must manage the re-opening of their locality in coordination with authorities. Both the City and the Tourism Authorities within need to be able to send alerts to the Community and Travellers alike.

We developed our system so there is a hierarchy that gives authorities in the (City) access while still allowing the local (Village/Town) "alert originator" to send out community First to Know alerts. It needs to be managed at the village or municipal level because each place is different and local mayors/leadership and health authorities are ultimately on the ground.

In addition there are many other use cases such as Security, Evacuations, Weather and other public safety concerns that can benefit the City/Country once the system is being used. At this time there is no universal alerting methodology across places - each Country implements their own system. We have built UgoRound to work anywhere in the World. UgoRound is a universal Safety App that will create a secure and trusted source of information for any public safety situation.

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