Emergency App

Software that saves lives

About the Project

tldr: a mobile "BlueLight Callbox". The majority of crimes happen in areas where users feel unsafe. This emergency app is a "safety button" app that allows you to hold your thumb down for "safety mode" and when your thumb comes off, you have 20 seconds to disarm the phone, or it immediately assumes you're in danger and notifies the emergency call center closest to you.

My Role

Lead developer of the Back-End REST API and Call Center dashboard Front-End. I also led the development team for the Android app.


On average when you call 911, it takes them 90 seconds just to get your basic information, before they even dispatch the police.


The goal is to provide a mobile “Blue Light Callbox”, essentially a safety button. If you have your thumb held down on the app and it comes off, you have 20 seconds to “disarm” the phone, otherwise the call center is notified. If you do not respond to their call with your disarm code, the police will be dispatched.

ccThe worst possible use-case this covers is if the phone is knocked out of your hand when you are in safety mode and gets destroyed. There is also a “timer mode”, which covers a situation where you want to go for a run but don’t want to be holding the button down throughout the run. You would set the timer for the number of minutes you’ll be gone, and let it run. Similar to “thumb mode”, “timer mode” gives you 20 seconds to disarm it once time is up, or it will assume the worst and initiate the dispatch of the police to your last known location.

Phone Verification

The first app ran into “trolling” issues, since it did not require phone number verification. Teenagers were signing up as their friends with their friends’ phone numbers and then activate a distress alert which would result in the friend getting a call from the Police making sure they were OK.


Our solution to this on Android was easy: extract the phone number. iOS does not allow this. So our solution was to require users to verify their phone number by sending a verification code via SMS that we extract on our server to verify it is valid. We developed an app in Twilio to achieve this workflow.

Self Service

There is a centralized call center for all Organizations. Some Universities would rather their University Police be directly in-charge of the incoming distress alerts, so there is a “Self-Service” portal, in which campus police monitor for any distress alerts happening on campus.


Data Sockets

The portal uses socket.io for real-time reactive data.

Push Notifications

Utilizing Parse’s APIs, we allow for authorities to send out a Push Notifications to all users of the app or all users within a geofenced location.


Predictive Analytics

Using all the data collected, we are able to provide in-depth analytics on high-use place and times and predict when and where people might feel unsafe. We are then able to analyze this data for local police, allowing them to increase staffing in high-risk areas (e.g. certain bars at 2am). Not only is location data important in this aspect, but time correlation is just as important too.


API Documentation

Documentation is King

What good is having a lightning fast back-end if the app developers need to look at the source code while they develop? How can you easily stay in sync when API changes are made? Documentation is King.

The lowest common denominator for all APIs is the documentation; that’s where everything begins. Often it starts as a simple draft of what you’re about to build, later evolving with development to the interface developers will use to implement the API. The documentation becomes the most exposed part of the work. It even serves to help the non-developers on the project to understand the app’s internal workings.

View the App Documentation

Get it on Google Play