Safety Net

Safety net for independent teens

About Safety Net:

Safety Net was created by Freddie, aged 14 from Caerleon Comprehensive School in Wales.

The app lets usres send a discreet alert to their parents whenever they need them.

How did you come up with the idea for Safety Net?

I came up with the idea for the project as I wanted to create an app that allowed teenagers to be independent of their parents, but still have the safety net of being able to reach them easily and discreetly if they found themselves in a difficult, awkward or dangerous situation.

How did you go about developing the solution?

Initially, I brainstormed the features of the app - I wanted it to be very simple to use, with no need to enter any information and all functions achieved with a single click. As this was the first time I had built an app, I spent a lot of time looking at tutorials and searching the internet for ways to achieve my aims. I have coded it in Javascript and HTML which I had some familiarity with, but it's been a huge learning curve. I realised that sending a text automatically on a single click, was more complicated than it sounded, as usually it requires additional user input, to avoid spammers sending volumes of texts from your account. I discovered that if I wanted a single click function I had to utilise the Twilio library.

Once I had set up a Twilio account and had my authorisation keys, I was able to assign those to my app, to allow the text to be sent. In order to send the user's location, I discovered you needed to use the Geolocation API to find the user's latitude and longitude. It was then quite a challenge to add these variables to a text string and required lots more searching forums and tutorials! I initially had a red 'danger' colour scheme for the app, but felt that was too obtrusive as the purpose of the app was to be able to send a discrete message, so after a bit of market research with my family and friends, I toned the colours down to the current black/blue theme. I tried numerous methods to achieve the end result, but am pleased that the final app seems simple yet effective.

How does Safety Net work?

The app has a home screen, then two simple buttons: 'Call Me' and 'Track Me'. Both of these buttons automatically send a text to the designated person, alerting them that you need help. When you click the 'Call Me' button a text is immediately sent to your designated person, alerting them to the fact you need a rescue call. The receiver of the text then knows to make a rescue call to the sender, so they can make some excuse about having to leave - something that is really useful if a party is getting out of control, or people have been drinking and you need a lift home, but don't want to make a fuss. The idea is that this text is sent with one click of the 'Call me' button, so can be done really discretely. The second button is 'Track Me'. If you press this button, a text is immediately sent to the designated person, with the user's current geolocation and a text alerting them to the fact that you are potentially in danger. Again, this is achieved with a simple, one-click function so that the message can be sent quickly and discretely if the need arises.

AFGA20 webBoard-Tracc Safety net

Why should your product win its category and why should people vote for you in the People’s Choice Award?

I think my product should win its category because it is the first app of it's kind to be made specifically targeted towards teenagers, so they can have their independence, yet the reassurance that they can reach their parents or guardians quickly and easily if needed. Lots of teenagers will end up in awkward situations and want a simple get-out, but don't want to make a fuss or stand out in any way. This app lets them discretely reach for help if they need it, which hopefully makes them and their parents feel more comfortable about nights out. I think I have managed to incorporate some complicated features into an app that is simple, yet effective, with a real use.

I hope people will want to vote for me in the People's Choice Award as this is the first time I have made an app, it has a great colour scheme and I think it has lots of potential to be developed further!

The Digital Explorers Category is supported by:

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