Recently, in our housing community, a man stabbed and attempted to rape a woman who was walking her dog at night. The police and ambulance arrived soon, and an alert was sent out to students at the school. After this incident, we were terrified to walk anywhere alone, especially at night. This made us realize how often times women will be walking alone and will see a suspicious person who makes them feel uncomfortable. However, because the police are not involved, no one hears about these suspicious people. That is why we decided to create Women in Community Safety.
What it does
Women in Community Safety is a text message system that allows a person to alert others near them of suspicious and potentially dangerous people. If a women is walking by herself and encounters someone who makes her feel unsafe, she can simply send WiCS a text with a certain code. WiCS will then send a text alerting everyone in the same zip code of the suspicious activity.
How we built it
First we built a website with HTML through which a person can sign up for our service using their phone number and email and zip code. Then we took all the data from the form and input it into a SQL database. We used the twilio API to receive text messages from people. We then extracted the data of the people who were in the same zip code using SQL. We then used the twilio API to send a text to each client's phone number.
Challenges we ran into
One big challenge we ran into was using twilio to figure out the text messaging system. Sometimes texts would be rerouted and would not reach our phones properly. It was also challenging to learn new languages and skills, such as using django and the twilio API.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of the service that we have created. We put a lot of effort into all aspects of our project and were excited to see the results finally coming together. For most of us, this was our first hackathon so we were very proud to achieve something significant in such a little amount of time. We are also proud that we were able to figure out new technology and use it in such a short amount of time.
What we learned
We learned a lot about new technology that we had never used before. We learned how to use django and twilio API. We also learned how to extract data from sign up forms and put it into a SQL database.
What's next for Women in Community Safety
We are looking to add many more features to our service. One would be a feature to prevent the same person from sending multiple consecutive alerts as a prank. Right now our service uses the zip codes people signed up with to send out alerts. However, in the future alerts will be sent out based on the current locations of people.