The fire alarm triggers, you gather your stuff at ease thinking this is one of those standard drills. After some minutes of lingering you make your way out, but on the way out you find your escape route has been blocked. Now what?
Finding your way out of an unknown and vast building in case of an emergency has proven to be challenging for most people. People who are familiar with the layout of a building get one drill at most per year, which leaves them lacking evacuation knowledge and experience. Besides, most of the evacuation protocols don’t take into account the location of the calamity. Research has shown that humans during a case of emergency function most efficient when they get precise and direct instructions. With all existing technology one would expect to have a more sophisticated way of alarming and instructing people during emergencies. One solution would be, providing people with an app which alarms, instructs and provides a safe way out during a calamity.
Flexit does exactly that. It is the result of an elective called "Software" during my third year of my Bachelor. Together with two other students (Tim van den Ing & Sander Neuteboom), we took on the challenge to develop such an app. With the use of CSS, HTML, Java, and MySQL we able to produce the following result.
Whenever a fire would occur, we would be able to broadcast an alarm which triggered the application to send a notification to the user about the situation of the calamity. With the use of an A* algorithm we were able to produce a shortest route function. In the loading screen we loaded al of the points from the database that were on the map. These points resembled a matrix overlay over the floor-plan of the TU Delft Industrial Design Engineering building. After the loading screen, we enabled the user to choose a route from A to B. If the user was unknown to the building, we gave him the opportunity to scan a QR code, which should be placed on the door-number of every room.
After deciding which place the user wanted to go, it showed them the shortest way on the map. The maps included the different floors of the building as well. We enabled the function to replan the route in case the application failed to see blocked points. We also enabled them to use active positioning, which used WIFI triangulation/fingerprinting to determine the place of the user.
To see some of the structure of the applications' code, see below:
THE FIRE ESCAPE APP