CIS students America and Penelope Lopez's project/team Beacon of Hope is under the Smart Homes & Buildings category and they made it to the Finals of the Global Mobile Innovators Tournament. They have been invited to the Tournament finale that will take place at 4YFN in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress.
Only 15 teams out of 2000 teams in the world have made it to this stage. They were one of the three teams chosen to represent the Americas. As well they are in the most competitive category: Smart City.
The Tournament is a global competition with BMWC, IBM, AT&T, KPN, Rogers Communications and Vodafone partnering, with the objective of driving innovation within the developer and startup communities worldwide to create mobile applications on IBM Bluemix.
What is Beacon of Hope?
Sex slavery is the fastest growing crime in the world and less than 1% of the victims (half of whom are under 12-years-old) are identified. That problem has led 25-year-old twin sisters America and Penelope Lopez to develop Beacon of Hope. Last year, the sisters won a top prize at the AT&T Developer Summit and Hackathon in Las Vegas for their "Body Camera Hack," a prototype camera with face-tracking technology that can be worn by law enforcement officers to record their actions in the field. This year, the Lopez sisters returned to the AT&T Developer Summit to spend the 36 straight hours of the Hackathon creating their potential solution to the sex slavery problem.
What is Beacon of Hope? Together with a couple other developers, the dynamic sisters have used Gimbal's iBeacon technology to alert law enforcement when a woman is being taken as a sex slave. The small beacons are hidden in tampons and sanitary napkins that will be available in women's restrooms at such places as gas stations, highway rest stops, stadiums and casinos because survivors report the only place they were ever alone was in a public restroom. A woman will be able to easily hide the beacon in her purse or pocket to be tracked by local law enforcement. The beacon immediately sends a signal to the police so they can trace her location. The sisters have taken advantage of AT&T's Smart Cities technology to ensure the tracking beacon is monitored as it travels as sex slavery victims are often moved from city to city against their will. It also utilizes the technologies of IBM Watson, Intel Edison and AT&T Flow Designer. The next version of Beacon of Hope will allow a victim to simply make a hand gesture in front of the beacon dispensary to alert law enforcement.