We began the process by determining what the product opportunity gap in East Liberty was. From our ethnography, we realized that the notion of Eyes on the Street was very prevalent and we wanted to explore this further. We created a list of ideas that might be influencing the lack of people in parks, some of which could be: legacy of housing projects, displacement, and increase danger in parks. From here we thought of creating a lock and gate system that required people to use RFID tags to get access to the playground. In terms of safety, we also realized it was important to ensure chaperones were being aware, which is how we thought of the idea of having them press a button every 15 minutes to ensure their alertness.
After getting input from our professors and peers we realized that a lock and gate would still be restricting and make it harder to create a sense of community. We, therefore, chose to shift our focus and instead have it be an opt-in system where chaperones could get an RFID tag if they wanted to. To still answer the problem of security our team considered possibly running background checks on everyone that wants to be a part of the P.A.S.S. system but later realized that this might also be restricting to reformed ex-convicts for example. Thus our final idea was simply to have a parent scan their ID and indicate the number of children they had. A hurdle we faced was getting the RFID tag to work, which is why in our demo we used buttons instead to mimic the action of going in and out of the park, but it still got the point across of parents opting in or out.
A vending machine at the entrance of a park will dispense RFID tags after parents have scanned their state ID and input credentials. The parent will specify how many children they have and the vending machine will dispense that number of RFID shoe clips for the child. After all RFID tags are dispensed, the vending machine will communicate with the home device. Furthermore, additional clips can be obtained from the vending machine.
Once at the gate, the child and parent can scan their respective RFID tags at the station and proceed to enter. It's important to note that access to the park is still allowed even if you do not have an RFID tag to scan, you simply won't know who's a part of the P.A.S.S. system and won't be able to have any of its benefits. Upon leaving the park, the chaperones and children will check out via an RFID scanner found at the exit of the park.
Once inside, another community chaperone will be expected to watch over the children. Thus, there will be multiple timer-enabled posts throughout the playground to ensure their awareness. Every 15 minutes, a button at the top of each post will activate to test the alertness of the chaperone. The chaperone must then press a button on any of the posts to confirm his/her presence and alertness. The status of the chaperone can then be noticed by the parent via the home device.
A parent will get a home device that s/he will activate with the fob they got from the park Sign Up station. This, therefore, means that only people in the system are aware of the system. The home device will activate with the fob, then it IFTTT’s the parent an email link to register the device.
This device will communicate ambiently via three colors: Green to indicate a chaperone present and alert, yellow for a chaperone at the playground but not alert and red for having no chaperone present.
We took on the difficult task of focusing on a real community with a very controversial history. We learned a lot about East Liberty and the things that motivate them, which is why we were very passionate about the project and hoped it could be something the community might consider implementing in the future. We explored issues with restricting access and having a background check but in the end, decided it was best for users to decide to be in the P.A.S.S system or not. We definitely learned a lot and hope that East Liberty can eventually become a close-knit community, with or without P.A.S.S.