By: Diane Stirling
Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) new Android phone and tablet app is being released today, and the project came about because of a partnership between DPS and the School of Information Studies.
Research Assistant Professor Yun Huang led a graduate student team in the development of the app. Students involved in the project are Yu Sun, Rucha Avinash Somani, and Jing Zhu.
DPS approached the project in order to provide students with pertinent safety information where they spend more time every day – on their mobile devices. The new app serves as a central landing point for all DPS information resources together on one platform.
The app displays the Department’s Google map of public safety notices in the University area. It also has a continually updated “message” feed, which aggregates public safety notices, public safety updates, public safety information bulletins, and Orange Alert transmissions into one place.
In addition, buttons link to the Department’s social media feeds, bringing all sources of information – including useful crime prevention tips posted to the social media feeds weekly – into one easy-to-access location. Upon first download, the app will prompt users to enter the DPS phone numbers into their contact lists, and will ask to allow push notifications.
Users can download the app from the Google Play store, and may find the app using the search term “SU DPS.” Once the rollout is complete, the app development team will focus on bringing the app to the Apple's App Store for use on iOS devices.
Dr. Huang’s research interests include mobile computing, crowdsourcing systems, wireless grids and context-aware middleware. Before joining the iSchool, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.