Mobile app to help people in life-threatening situations

mobile app to help people in life-threatening situation

Students at the Vellore Institute of Technology University have developed a mobile application that will help people in life-threatening situations send their location details and recorded audio to seek emergency help from their friends and family members through an Android mobile phone.

An Android mobile generally has a single app that reveals the location of its user with the help of Google Maps. But in an emergency situation, the user cannot call someone and explain the situation. However, the new app, developed by M Vijayakumar and R Karthikeyan, fourth-year MS (software engineering) students at the university, helps in conveying information about the users’ whereabouts and the danger they face without making calls.

“This is an Android application that can render the much required help in emergency situations. When the application is turned on, it records the voice for a few minutes using the audio recorder. It tracks the location of the user using the network. Global positioning system (GPS) is not needed. It has a default function which stores contact information and corresponding email ids of more than two members (family members or friends). It sends the recorded message and location of the user to them through mail or SMS,” Vijayakumar said.

The app functions even if the talk-time balance is as low as Re 1. “The recorded audio received by the users’ family members or friends will give a clear picture of the severity of the problem faced by the users. Since the application also reveals the location, the recipients can reach the users in no time,” Karthikeyan said.

M Varun Kumar, professor at VIT University’s School of Information Technology and Engineering, who guided the students in the project, said they would apply for copyrights for the app.

The professor had earlier guided students in developing a ‘portable automated switch box’ that helps its users control any number of electronic devices, like television, fans and tube lights, using their GSM (global system for mobile communications) phones. “We applied for patent for ‘portable automated switch box’ in 2011,” he said.

Kumar and the two students have installed the application in their mobile phones and demonstrated its functioning in front of the faculty and other students. VIT University founder-chancellor G Viswanathan appreciated the team.

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