iOSOS: Data for Search & Rescue

June 8, 2021 | 4:56 pm

Team: Joseph Aharon, Grace Gordon, Hannah Pak, Shradhey Prasad, Kristin Yamane
Course: DES INV 190-12/DEV ENG 290-1, Innovation in Disaster Response

iOSOS is a native smartphone app that activates during a disaster that allows users to quickly send an SOS request. The iOSOS team started their project considering the ways existing smartphone capabilities and high usage could help streamline Search and Rescue data flow, improving SAR operations in catastrophic events, while helping civilians alike.

The team led with background and user research, gaining insights into the most pressing issues of disaster relief, from efficiency, limited manpower, lack of digital tools, and time sensitivity. In their research, they found that a lack of current technology, digital tools, and security requirements are the main obstacles to access in commonly-used digital platforms. They also considered the damage to critical infrastructure after a disaster that could compromise cell service, keeping the “SAR window”—the 24-96 hours after a disaster where survival rates are highest—in mind.

Gravitating towards apps and platforms, the team also considered physical alerts, outsource tech, digital SAR, and policy into their ideation, focusing on an alert system that involved complex policy between cell service providers and government while bridging search and rescue with individuals in need.

Learn more about iOSOS on the team’s Behance page.