Sai Samyukta, a Class 8 student of Gateway International School, has developed a prototype for a mobile application that enforces social distancing. According to the 13-year-old, the application was made for mobile phones for ease of use and accessibility.
“I made an android app that utilises the phone’s in-built features. It would be difficult for people to get a separate device, so this makes it easier for people to use. When enabled, the application alerts you if you are not maintaining a distance of six feet with other people, and informs you if they get closer too,” said the 13-year-old.
Meanwhile, eleven-year-old Arya K is developing a mask-detection application that can be used on computers. Using a facial recognition technology through Cognitec, the application can detect if someone is using a mask or not, and notifies the individual immediately.
“It can be used in shops and public spaces to make sure that people are using their masks. The reason I came out with this app is that I noticed that only a very small percentage of people are wearing masks outside. The only concern I have is that the data might be sold and cause privacy issues. So I’m trying to install a feature where all data is purged after a week. I don’t want it to be Google, which spies on everyone,” said the Class 6 student.
Both the children state that there need to be some refinements before the application can be used by the general public. For example, Samyukta says that she needs to increase the distance that the app can detect between individuals, while Arya explains that his application needs to be tested in real-time to understand its efficacy. In this regard, they are working with their mentors at SP Robotics, a Chennai-based robotics centre.
However, both are excited to develop their applications by early next year, with Arya stating, “I want to take up coding seriously in the future. This is logic-based. If I know the logic, I can write the code, and do anything I want. During the pandemic, we need to be safe, and if technology can help us then we should use it.”