Semester of Apps: 11 of 15
Uber Emergency (Github)
This past weekend I got to attend SIUE’s first hackathon, eHacks! (If any of the eHacks team reads this, thank you for an amazing hackathon!) My teammate and I got to work with the Uber API this weekend and decided to tackle merging Uber with emergency situations.
The inspiration for this stems from the idea that in some emergency situations you may not be able to safely drive yourself to the hospital, but the realization of the fees associated with an ambulance ride may be more daunting than your current situation. Plus, if you’re in a big city, an ambulance will take some time to make its way to you. But more often than not, there is an Uber within 5 minutes of you. This is how we got Uber Emergency.
Our main goal was to make an app that required nothing more than a single tap of a finger to get you to the hospital. That’s a whole 2-tap difference from dialing 911! So how’d we do it?
Uber Emergency makes use of 4 different libraries. Of course the Uber API is used to order an Uber to your current location, but we also need to give the driver a destination. This is where we use a mix of Google Maps and Google Places. Maps allows us to show a detailed map of your current location, your driver, and the hospital you’re set to go to. The Places API allows us to search Google for places by keyword, in our case “hospitals” and set the priority to those nearest the user.
So that’s 3 libraries, what about the 4th? The last library we used is an open source speech recognition tool called Open Ears. We used it to provide an optional form for the user to fill out, hands free, while waiting or while in the Uber. This form asked for basic information such as allergies or current medications, and emailed this information to the hospital to speed up the in processing time. (Although this didn’t work for the demo because it is unable to pick up and parse through what I am saying with all the background noise that was going on).
After all was said an done, we ended up winning “Best Mobile Hack” and got a sweet Parrot AR Drone!