Singapore Poly students design Call Police app to fight crime

From left: Deswanto, 20, Nicolas Wee, 19, Claris Tham, 20, and Lee Wei Yan, 20, with their mobile app, Call Police.
From left: Deswanto, 20, Nicolas Wee, 19, Claris Tham, 20, and Lee Wei Yan, 20, with their mobile app, Call Police.ST PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN

SINGAPORE - Imagine you want to call the police for help, but are being chased by someone - hardly able to breathe and tell the police your location over the phone.

A new app that enables users to dial 999 with the press of a button and sends the caller's particulars and location to the police directly may be a life saver.

It can also send a message to the user's family to notify them of the emergency call.

The app, Call Police, was on display on Thursday (March 10) at the Singapore Polytechnic's annual Project Showcase, which exhibits more than 200 third-year student projects. The showcase spans across 12 disciplines at SP, from game design, landscape architecture to digital media.

The app was the result of a six-month collaboration between officers from Jurong West Neighbourhood Police Centre and five business information technology students.

One of the students, Nicolas Wee, 19, said: "When people call the police, since they are panicking, they are unable to locate their specific location. Most of the time they will mention certain icons or buildings around them."

This may result in inaccurate locations and precious time wasted in locating the caller. The app would eliminate this problem.

Call Police also includes another key feature. "Let's say you're getting harassed or running away from someone - a shrill alarm can be activated by shaking your phone vigorously," Nicolas added.

The design team also compromises of Deswanto, Claris Tham, Lee Wei Yan, Tng Xin Kai, all 20 years old.

The police confirmed the student collaboration but declined to provide further details.

Besides the Call Police app, other highlights included a marketing campaign to end the stigma against dyslexia.

Lim Qian Yi and Lim Xin Yi, both 19-year-old visual communication and media design students, worked with members of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore to tackle the fear and shame associated with the learning difficulty.

They posted to Facebook a video titled Secret to Success - an emotional story of a child reaching success despite his dyslexia through the support of his loved ones - which currently has over 15,000 views.

Elsewhere, Nanyang Polytechnic's (NYP) School of Design's graduation showcase began on Thursday (March 10) at the National Library. Of the 188 student projects on display, many address pressing social issues.

Among them are breast cancer campaign Perfect Pair, by visual communications student Shu Shang Yuan Shermin, 20, which uses sweet pastries to represent breasts, promoting cancer prevention with light-hearted humour.

Space and interior design student Jiang Lu, 22, created The Lantern Tree, a futuristic hospice for patients with terminal illness. She was moved by the death of her lecturer's father to focus her work on bringing grace and dignity to the dying.

NYP's exhibits are on display until Saturday (March 12). SP's student exhibition ends on Friday (March 11), while its Design School exhibits will remain open to the public from March 12 to 17.

Correction note: An earlier version of the article stated that Nanyang Polytechnic School of Design displayed 87 student projects. NYP has clarified that there are 188 student projects on display at the National Library, Singapore.