Developing a mobile application can be a challenging process. From idea to development, through deployment and beyond, there are many potential pitfalls and difficulties. However, with every challenge comes reward.
In the case of The LockOut Mobile Application, the reward is a more connected and secured facility, meaning safer buildings, and safer people.
To create the LockOut Mobile App, our team needed assistance. There are many pieces to the puzzle of a good mobile application, especially one designed to keep people safe, so we had to get it right. That's why our partnership with Neosoft Technologies became so important as we developed our application. Neosoft is an incredible company to work with, providing guidance, design, and development throughout the entire process of building our application.
We interviewed Tanuj Tak, one of the lead developers on our project, and asked him for his insight into how Neosoft's team worked to develop The LockOut App along side our own internal team.
What were the key areas of the LockOut app that your team worked on?
The team here worked on the Mobile applications. The iOS application was developed entirely by our team in coordination with Andrew York, who is leading the development of the android counterpart of the application. We were responsible of creating the apps for Apple iPhones and iPad devices, and enhancement of the android app as well, when Andrew was busy in other areas of the project.
The mobile apps featured an easy to use/understand User interface, which was particularly important for high alert situations where users should be able to start a lockdown with just one tap.
We worked in collaboration with the police, taking inputs from them to understand a student/user’s thought process in panic situations. The interface had to be easily visible and accessible, hence we had large visible components placed all over the application screens, making it easy and quicker for users to initiate lockdowns even under intense situations.
What were some challenges or opportunities that your team found during your time working on the LockOut app?
The biggest challenge was making the application secure and as close to failsafe as possible. At any given point of time, for an average location there will be hundreds of mobile devices connected to the Bluetooth mesh and the Smart boot system. The communication between those mobile devices and between the BLE Mesh had to be secure enough to avoid infiltration.
We added extra layers of algorithms and encryptions to the data transmitted to make sure data packets sent out by users could not be intercepted.
Additionally, initiating any kind of lockdown (from the different types we have) must be delivered successfully with a 100% delivery success rate. That was a no-compromise task, as once users sent out an alert for help, they trust that they will get it. And we needed to make sure help got to them as soon as possible. We put additional mechanisms and failsafes in place for lockdown initiations, automatic retries in case of message failures, delegation of tasks to the smart boot system (to assure that the tasks initiated by the mobile users was carried out).
We also had tons of testing done countless times to simulate different scenarios for the different types of alerts available in the mobile apps. That helped us create the best system out there for user safety.
This was a great learning curve for us too, and a great opportunity to work on such an important project that will save lives.
The first time I heard about the application, I knew I had to be involved in the project. - Tanuj Tak, Lead Developer - Neosoft Technologies
What was something that was particularly exciting for your team to work on?
It was exciting to work on a system that is customised and manufactured for the sole purpose of protecting people. The bluetooth devices like the Dome lights and the boot boxes were particularly useful and exciting to work with.
It was great working with Andrew and dive into the complex structure of the application architecture, and come out delivering a product that satisfies what was envisioned.
As the LockOut app is being used to protect students, as well as many others, from violence, was your team especially excited or motivated to work on the project?
Being a worlds distance away from the US, it was always shocking and heartbreaking to see incidents happen all over the US involving shootings. The first time I heard about the application, I knew I had to be involved in the project. It was a chance to help out, even if it was a small help. The importance and the nature of the project played a great role in motivating us and producing something useful. The Lockout app is undoubtedly the most important application I have developed in my career. Just knowing I am a part of something that will potentially save lives is a satisfying thought.
To learn more about Neosoft Technologies industry leading development, consulting teams, and management programs, please visit: www.neosofttech.com
To contact Neosoft Technologies Vice-President Poonam Lalka for more information or to work with their amazing team, please visit her LinkedIn profile