Inspiration

Many public places are not following COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing, requiring face masks, and offering sanitization supplies. This can lead to socioeconomic issues: people fall sick and lose their jobs, and small businesses don’t get enough customers to sustain business. Although city officials would like to enforce COVID-19 protocols, they do not have information about locations that need more help.

When I learnt that exposing yourself to public places increases your risk of contracting COVID-19 by 82%, may end up severely ill and eventually losing your employment, we wanted to help people from not getting infected via an online platform that displays if places are following COVID-19 safety guidelines while also help businesses improve their adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

What it does

V-Trac is a website and mobile app that uses crowdsourced data to evaluate the safety of certain public locations and help users make informed decisions. V-Trac crowdsources data about a) if people are wearing masks b) there are plexiglass dividers at checkout counters c) people are social distancing d) there are sanitization materials available and e) share covid-19 protocol adherence to small/medium businesses and city council.

How I built it

Built this website using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, php, and mySQL. I also used an UI toolkit from CreativeTim. In addition, I also incorporated google maps api. This website is meant to be an extension of my mobile app. To understand what the mobile app would look like, we made a Canva mock-up.

Challenges I ran into

Although I had an existing website to build upon, I had to make many changes to the backend tables and queries in my database which broke some functioning code. Adding new features (like extra check boxes and radio buttons) and testing it took more time than expected.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am proud of developing a solution for consumers to safely visit a location knowing it is safe to go. As an extension to CoronaConnect (app we developed earlier), I added new features exclusively for City Council members. We interviewed few City Council members for this idea and they loved it. I am also proud of making use of an existing project and add new features ourselves that help people from being exposed to an infectious disease while also enabling the City to take appropriate action. Validating the user needs, interviewing City council members and building a somewhat functional website were the most important steps to build our app.

What I learned

I learnt how important it is to document the logic from previous projects and make it easier to expand. When I first started this competition, I thought I could finish very quickly, but I did not. Doing this competition helped me understand the importance of time management and maintaining notes from previous submissions.

What's next for V-Trac

I plan to build out additional features like 'V-Trac verified certificates' for small and medium size businesses to attract more customers and ensure safety. For the mobile app development, plan to use Swift and Xcode and will start development from next week. For the website as well as the mobile app, plan to add more logic that determines if a location tagged as COVID-19 safe is indeed true. I will do so by aggregating reviews by multiple users in a given timeframe.

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