The Emergency Recorder
Record emergencies, zero effort
When you dial 999, your first priority is to tell the emergency services what's happening.
The first thing any call handler wants to know is always where you are. If something goes wrong and the call is dropped, they need to be able to find you.
If there's something going on right in front of you, you'll do your best to describe it as best you can. Unfortunately, that's often not enough to identify a suspect or victim after the incident. CCTV is helpful, but it's not everywhere.
The Emergency Recorder is an app for Android phones.
It can detect an outgoing call to the emergency services, and when it does it pops up a camera in a bubble - small enough not to interfere with your call - but able to record right away without any intervention from you.
It also calculates the nearest address to where you're standing, and the closest What3Words* - so you can tell the emergency services where you are right away.
* What3Words creates a set of three words, able to identify any 3m x 3m location on the planet.
Once a recording is complete, you choose what happens to it.
As a witness, you may decide you wish to share your video or photos with the police. You can do so easily - just as you can share any other video you've taken from your phone. Useful information such where you were when the recording was made, and the time, is available for you to refer to.
We've got a working app!
The app is well on the way to completion - and you can track progress at our github repository.
At current time, there's a working test app which can launch the bubble camera in response to an outgoing call (and assess that call to see if it is being made to an emergency number). The bubble camera can take photos or record a series of photos with an accompanying audio recording.
(Due to a dependency on CameraKit, video recording is temporarily unavailable. We anticipate updates soon that will allow it.)
The app can also geocode the user's current location, and fetch the nearest What3Words.
As an Android developer you can clone our repository, and test the app yourself. (You'll need to add your own What3Words API key - we can help you with that!)
Contributing to the project
If you'd like to join the team bringing this to the public, we'd love to hear from you!
This project need testers. Android is a diverse ecosystem, and factors such as manufacturer’s preferences, Android versions, and camera hardware affect the operation of phones. We're building a team of testers to help smooth-over the wrinkles of Android fragmentation!
This project needs peer coder contributions. If you're an Android developer, and you'd like to review the project, or add your own flourish to it, we'd love to hear from you!
This project needs a logo and an icon. Graphic designers - I know you’re out there! You could do a great job of building the sort of brand that connects with people long before they encounter an emergency situation.
This project needs copywriting. Professional copywriters can take a complex idea and make it accessible to everyone. People need to understand just how simple the app is to install and use, and why they’d want to.
This project needs a website. People should be able to find out all about the app, and be able to download it quickly and easily without navigating through blog posts or the whole Police Rewired site.
This project needs a campaign. If we want people to discover this app and install it speculatively, we’ll need to reach people across all walks of life. Social media savants, this is your time to shine! Join the team to help us figure out how we’ll reach people.
If you'd like to be involved, you can reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Security awareness is a key part of every design and implementation decision. Bring your infosec tin-foil hat to every project involving personal data! We'll be challenging each other, our designs, and our implementations throughout the process; and we'll be seeking advice from security professionals as we work.