With new technologies comes new dangers. But, so can new ways to help prevent those dangers. Our app was inspired by the need to create a method for people to publicly report life-threatening events, such as a fire or an attack from an active shooter, to other people around them, so that people can more quickly identify dangerous situations to avoid.
What it does
Our plan for the app is that a user would create an account, connect the app to social media platforms, and set up emergency contacts. After that, the user will be able to push one of two buttons to automate sending out alerts about the danger at the user's location. These alerts will be in the form of posts on the linked social media, text messages or emails to the user's emergency contacts, and notifications to local app users. One button will send out an alert with a statement about the presence of danger at the user's specific location. The second button will send out an alert with a statement saying that the danger has passed.
How we built it
We built it using Android Studio and Java. For user-authentication, we used Firebase. We were also planning on impementing Facebook, Snapchat, and Google API's to send out notifications on social media.
Challenges we ran into
It took us a few hours to get oriented with Android Studio, as none of us have ever done any mobile development. We also had a difficult time implementing Firebase, we think this is due to different versions being incompatible with each other.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our teams is proud of the fact that we were able learn how to work with new technologies (Andriod Studio) and gain experience with them in a short span of time. Additionally, we pride ourself on how we were able to leverage our prior knowledge in Java and other skills when building the XYZ app. Furthermore, our team's brainstorming process helped us pivoted to our idea quickly. Despite the fact that no one on the team has had much real previous experience with app development, we still managed to create a UI for the app using methods we've never worked with before. Another thing that we think will benefit us a lot in the future, is the experience that we all got using git. We also learned, much to one team member's enjoyment, that you can implement an entire method within the parameter of a method call.
What we learned
From this experience, our team gained technical knowledge in app development specifically in using Andriod Studio, Firebase, and Git. Furthermore, we learned important lessons in collaboration, time management, and the overall process of software development.
What's next for XYZ Emergency
We plan on continuing our development of this app outside of Hack Duke in order to fulfill the need for mass communication though unmitigated disasters. Although we are aware that this product will not provide a full guarantee of safety for its users, we hope that our finished product will at least improve communication and awareness during these situations and minimize risk.