Midterm Project Proposal, Molly/ Sasha

Emergency wearable device idea

Molly Mahar, Sasha Volkov


TUI Proposal:

We propose creating a small, wearable device to be used in emergency situations. The goal of the device is to have a means of contacting the authorities in the event of an act of violence or failure of health, even if one’s phone is inaccessible. The device would act as a small, independent token (with a distant embodiment) that could communicate with a user’s phone, presumably via bluetooth. We have identified 3 potential target users of this device: students, domestic abuse victims and the elderly.


Example Use Case:

A female student is walking home late at night. She has her device setup to send an alert with a location via text to her roommate if she clicks it twice. Someone mugs her, they take her phone and start hitting her. She taps her device twice and it starts recording (which 911 can hear somehow) and sends her location and an emergency message to her roommate. She is recovered shortly, and the muggers are potentially on camera and has audio evidence.


Things we may want the token to do:

  • Accept/recognize a pattern-based pressure or safe word input (a secret handshake)
  • Record sound (for evidence)
  • Send an emergency notification including the user’s GPS coordinates to 911 and others of their choosing (preset)
  • Emit an audio or visual output to scare someone off or attract attention (ex: car alarm)
  • Allow access to info stored in an app/controlled through an app


Questions this brings up:

  • Should it just be a token or a container? In other words, do we store the data locally, in the cloud, or does it auto-transmit to authorities/ a trusted person?
  • How does this work if you’re separated from your phone? How much distance would we have available?
  • Would information be routed through central servers which actually send the call/information?
  • What are the privacy concerns here, if any?
  • Where can you can wear it? Is it waterproof?
  • How do we account for battery life?
  • What does it look like? Noun metaphor for elderly, versus ‘none’ metaphor for the other two populations?
  • What is the shape/size of the token, given certain demographic interests?

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