Log my pos#projects #web
During the second year of my undergraduate, I ended staying in West Hampstead, and as such, had my daily commute take me through Camden. Upon hearing this, my parents to warned me that Camden had higher crime-rates than the place I had lived before, and that I should be doubly careful. While I don't place too much trust in their advice, their persistencce eventually got to me, and I was prompted to think about safety measures I could take.
The main problem, as far as I could see, was that due to the (much appreciated) hands-off nature of university, in the off chance that something bad happened to me, there would be at least few months delay (given the frequency at which I have any contact with my family) before any action could be taken about my absence. Clearly, if anything bad had happened to me, by that time I would probably be dead.
To fix this, I came up with this rather ingenious (if I say so myself) solution - before I'd leave each day, I'd tell this service that I was leaving the apartment, and would mention the time at which I would expect to return. This would prompt a chron-job to be scheduled at that time, which upon firing, would attempt to get in contact with me by a text message - if I failed to respond within 30 minutes, a warning message would then be sent to one of my relations, indicating that I had not returned home in time. In this way, I was able to cut down the response time from months down to a few days, significantly improving my chances.
As it happens, at this time I was less aware of the importance of privacy, and was actually willingly using an Amazon Alexa at the time, so I chose to implement the interface to this tool as an Alexa application - this meant that before I leave the house, I would just say "Alexa, tell log my position, that I am leaving", and so on and so forth.
If I were to ever implement this again in the future, I would probably rely on one of the open source voice assistant tools instead.
You can find this project here: log-my-pos