Inspiration: We took inspiration from the self-certification document shared by the Italian Ministry of the Interior with its citizens. This document must be filled out, printed, and carried wherever citizens are going. According to the authorities, the digital version (PDF) cannot be submitted to the police because, if law enforcement official stops you, the document must be archived. This self-certification document has been subject to continuous changes to face the COVID-19 emergency. We decided to develop an app that takes advantage of the already user-friendly interface of navigation of Google Maps and, thanks to GPS technology, tracking down via phone cells and blockchain people’s movements, ensuring maximum travel efficiency, better traceability. This app enables information sharing on possible users infected with qualified authorities and useful information such as people’s turn out in supermarkets.
What it does: VadoBene is a digital self-certification smartphone app that takes advantage of smartphone technologies such as GPS geolocation, A-GPS & phone cells with the integration of the blockchain system. The app aims at monitoring large gatherings and providing useful information on the status of contagion and queues at supermarkets. This app allows law enforcement to monitor and guarantee the authenticity of movements by GPS and telephone cells. Please note that the app works only if the user gives his consent, and every time the user leaves his house as required by Italian emergency temporary law submitted on 22 March 2020.
How I built it: The app takes advantage of GPS, phone cells, and blockchain technology and is based on the interface and navigation of Google Maps. Design-wise, the UX is based on Google Maps, and the back end shall be integrated with the structure of Google Maps code, which is already optimized for the location and calculation of the intended route. The demo app is build with Marvel app.
Challenges I ran into: The biggest challenge we have faced is how to safeguard users’ privacy rights. Other key issues addressed included how to optimize travel routes and ensure that information such as turnout, real-time infection status were included in the app. The app intends to empower users to comply with the regulations and make an active contribution to the community. The app aims at ensuring the privacy rights of citizens and having the smallest impact possible on them. The data is processed and managed while the app is active, and once the activity ends, the GPS is automatically disabled. This feature allows users not to be monitored while the app is inactive.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of: The User Interface concept we have developed is very similar to the one generated by Google Maps. We were able to include alerts that may help the user to respect the current laws related to self-isolation and essential reasons to exit its residency.
What I learned: I have learned that it is possible to use technologies already in place for the good of humankind. Furthermore, we believe that everyone can become actors of change and an active contribution to this emergency.
What's next for VadoBene: We can help the authorities, providing up-to-date and real-time data on the current situation of COVID-19 in the country. This app can help to prevent infections and support citizens in shortening the time needed to carry out essential activities. We need to keep in mind that the freedom of the individual is vital, but, at the same time, it cannot place in danger the public health.