Walksafe: College Campus Safety App Incorporating Pebble Smartwatch

Open Access
Author:
Vaghela, Saloni-dharmeshkumar
Graduate Program:
Industrial Engineering
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Dr Patrick C Shih, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Emergent Design
  • Safety
  • Location-based
  • WalkSafe
  • Emergecny notification
  • Wearable technology
Abstract:
I present a campus security app incorporating wearable technology like Pebble smartwatch. The app, WalkSafe, is a location­based app that notifies users of emergencies around them. The app is compared to The Pennsylvania State University’s emergency notification system - PSUAlert, which provides time­based alerts. I identified weakness of the existing PSUAlert system and addressed them by introducing a location-based emergency notification system with the records of past incidents along with the type of emergency with respect to the user’s location. I used a multi­method approach to evaluate WalkSafe and used the PSUAlert system as a baseline. I assessed both the systems with 9 participants by notifying the participants of the fake emergencies and asking them to use both systems to understand details regarding the emergency and its location. The participants were asked to complete pre- and post-surveys that question ed them about the metrics for evaluating both the systems. Results from content analysis and paired T­test indicated that metrics for evaluating both the system namely: user’s perceived convenience, perceived security, willingness to use and willingness to share were significantly higher when using WalkSafe. Participants were asked to provide recommendations that would further improve WalkSafe. Based on the recommendations of the participants, features like 911 calling, particular incident on/off button, location of nearest emergency poles phones in the vicinity of the user, etc. were incorporated. The mockups and screenshots of such features have also been presented.