IIT professors modify app to monitor people

SAFE App sends alerts once in five to 10 minutes to those advised home quarantine

Two professors with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have modified an application used for tracking students’ attendance to now keep a check on quarantine adherence.

Professor Bhaskaran Raman and Kameswari Chebrolu of the Computer Science Engineering department of IIT Bombay had originally developed the application five years ago to solve the problem of keeping track of around 700 students without wasting too much time.

Professor Milind Atrey, dean of the Research and Development Centre of IIT Bombay, said, “The application has been modified by a team led by the two professors and can be used by officials to keep a track of the people required to stay under quarantine. The application is called SAFE App and is capable of sending alerts once in five to 10 minutes to those advised home quarantine.”

Prof. Atrey said the users, who are under quarantine, are required to respond to the alert immediately by sending a selfie. The location of the person is also tracked through WiFi and Global Positioning System (GPS).

“The alerts can be scheduled or random. We have approached a lot of State governments along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and a few of them are interested in the application, but due the chaos caused by the coronavirus it has been difficult to conduct meetings over this issue,” he said.

The professor believes that the app will work as people will not leave their phones at home even if they do step out.

“Not only does the app track the location of the user, but they also need to respond immediately to the alerts that can be sent every few minutes. This will ensure that a strict check is kept on them. A single server can keep a check on about 1,000 people at a time. The signal coverage can be increased or decreased as per the requirement of a specific area,” Mr. Atrey said.

The application can hold all the information of users and ensure complete confidentiality. The IIT-B team is willing to provide its services free of cost to the government to help deal with the pandemic.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 7:37:00 AM |

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