Delhi student team creates innovative app for women's safety

22nd October 2019
Delhi student team creates innovative app for women's safety
The winning team behind the Rakshak app

New Delhi,  October 22, 2019:  A team from Bharti Vidyapeeth College of Engineering, Delhi, has developed an Android application, Rakshak, that detects speech patterns via the audio microphone of the user’s smartphone.
When the application detects audio snippets with speech commands requesting help or saying “stop” in distressed tones, it generates SOS alerts and the location of the user, and sends them to emergency contacts specified by the user.  The app is now available on the Google Play store.
The solution took the top prize yesterday  in a contest organized in India by the Marconi Society’s Celestini Programme.  The Programme, run by the Society's Young Scholars,  is a flagship effort to  inspire and connect individuals building tomorrow’s technologies in service of a digitally inclusive world. The Marconi Society and its Young Scholars select universities with promising telecommunications and engineering undergrads and provide them with support and mentorship to help tap their students’ true potential.
The winning team of Piyush Agrawal, Subham Banga, Aniket Sharma and Ujjwal Upadhyay tackled the troubling issue of women's safety in India, where incidents of women under attack have become all too common. They started with publicly available speech command datasets, such as the Google Speech command dataset, then added speech commands specific to the scenario of women’s safety. They crowd-sourced additional data and open-sourced it as the Indian EmoSpeech Command dataset. This enabled them to detect emotion, background noise, and Indian accents in the audio with improved precision. Video demo here.
The winning team receives a cash prize of $1500.The Celestini Programme India partners with IIT Delhi and is anchored by Dr Aakanksha Chowdhery, a researcher in Google Brain, and a 2012 Marconi Young Scholar.
“The Marconi Society’s Celestini Programme is a unique and impactful way to help us create the next generation of technical innovators,” said Professor Brejesh Lall, Head of Bharti School of Telecom Technology and Management and Celestini Programme partner at IIT Delhi.  “Students become deeply engaged when they are defining the important problems that technology can solve and creating proof-of-concept applications that will make a difference in the world.  The Marconi Society’s investment in mentorship, support and technology makes a true difference to these students’ career paths.”
The winning team showcased its  innovation at a function in IIT Delhi, today, where Padmasree Warrior, IIT Delhi alumnus and former CTO of Motorola and Cisco Systems, gave the keynote speech -- and gave way the prize.