CRISIS RESPONSE ON MESSENGER

A Use Case for Bluetooth Mesh Infrasstructure Project

We were working on a problem with person-person and person-community communication during disasters, considering natural as well as the civil crisis.

The primary aim was to target the issues of physical damages to infrastructure and network congestion with a solution based on an off-the-grid proximity network.

CREDITS

Product Designer
Abhijit Chirde

UX Researcher
Bevin D'cruz

Software Engineers
Pritesh Sankhe
Vikramank Singh

Hardware Engineer
Sai Sri Sathya

BACKGROUND

RESEARCH

The problems faced in the crisis-hit area by the people and humanitarian organizations are precedented. Non-Functional communication infrastructure is just one problem, it has a thousand more issues following due to those damages. 

crisisi-background-failures

How are people in crisis using Messaging Apps?

We had been studying the data provided by UNWFP and ICRC’s Report titled ‘Humanitarian Futures of Messaging Report, January 2017’. We focussed our efforts on the refugee camps in Za’taari, Jordan.

  • 100,000 refugees live in Za’taari camp in Jordan
  • Around 85% of staff respondents said refugees use Messenger at least once a week.
  • 50% of camps population access the internet once a day.
  • WhatsApp was the messaging app most frequently used for communication in Jordan and Syria.
  • 44-51% users ‘marked safe’ using Facebook Crisis Center during the crisis in Za'taari
  • Facebook and WhatsApp remain to be the most used apps among the refugees followed by Viber, WeChat and Imo.
crisis-research

IDEATION

CRISIS RESPONSE - USER NEEDS

For creating an emergency messaging solution, we must consider factors that affect the motivation, efficiency, effectiveness, and the value provided by the service.

Considering various advantages of Messenger over WhatsApp such as Bots and overall robustness of the platform, we decided to explore the implementation of solution on Messenger.

Depending on the time and context, the needs of the people who are in crisis struck area changes. These needs vary from preventive needs to actions to rehabilitation needs. Safety check and providing absolute necessities are the crucial elements in these scenarios.

crisis-needs

SYSTEM DETAILS

Messenger proves to be an ideal platform for deploying an emergency communication system in a state of natural and man-made emergency. This communication system would be supported by a Bluetooth 5 Proximity Mesh Network which our team developed as a backend networking platform.

crisis-network-diagram
zataari

 Represention of possible BT Mesh Networks (Za’taari, Jordan)

Proximity Messaging

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Broadcast Messaging

crisis-broadcast-blocks

Crisis Response & Support

crisis-help-blocks

APP DESIGN

WIREFRAMES

crisis-wireframes

SAFETY CHECK INTEGRATION

It is an important part of this system, which will help us in tackling the problem of identifying and communicating with people even with damaged communication infrastructure. It would work in tandem with FB Crisis Hub.

crisis-flow-safetycheck

BROADCAST MESSAGING

Broadcast Messaging mode is here for communicating over the mesh network with many people at once. It found to be a crucial element in case of an emergency alert.

crisis-flow-broadcast

PROXIMITY MESSAGING

Similar to Offline Mode in Messenger, Proximity Messaging works on Bluetooth 5 Mesh Network and would be an efficient communication tool in the crisis-hit area where damaged network infrastructure is a real problem.

crisis-flow-messenger

SAFETY BOT ON MESSENGER

bot-flow

UI FLOW FOR SAFETY BOT

A humanitarian bot over FB Messenger for helping those in need and also those who can help others in distress. Many scenarios for a humanitarian bot have been discussed with supportive case study such as Messenger bot by the UN for providing support and guidance in the African region.

One more such use case is to enable a hashtag (#+keyword) trigger for using Safety Bot within a Messenger conversation.

Safety Bot Scenario - Checking in 'Safe'

Safety Bot Scenario - Checking in 'Not Safe'

Safety Bot Scenario - Checking in 'Not in area'

Safety Bot Scenario - Calling bot in a Messenger thread

PROOF OF CONCEPT DEMO

In-house manufactured Bluetooth Mesh Network devices testing and deployment

fb-mumbai