A smartphone and smartwatch application system to detect vehicle accidents, and provide context specific assistance


Oct - Dec 2015


UX Researcher

UI Design


Domain Research

Concept Modeling







The Problem

In this project we explored some of the common problems with communication and rescue efforts of victims in road accidents. Through our research we discovered that the most common problem was getting in touch with emergency services and informing family and friends in case of an emergency.


The research process involved interviews and literature reviews of prior research papers on topics related to emergeny and accident detection.

    Demographics and important data from the interviews:

    • Number of interviewees: 6
    • Age range: 22 to 54
    • Country of origin : USA, India
    • 3/6 of the iterviewees who were in emergencies, weren't in a state where they could use their phone

    Key points:

    The following are some of the most common problems that emergency victims faced, based on our interviews

    • Based on the interviews that we conducted, the common emergencies reported were medical emergencies, robberies, mugging, road accidents
    • Most interviewees said they needed quick access to a rescue vehicle
    • All interviewees them need a quick response time from emergency services or any other form of help
    • Factors such as response time, location, context information and social network relations are the most important factors to be considered while dealing with any emergency situation.


    Based on the research data we gathered, we made a conceptual model, scenarios, and brainstormed possible solutions. Since emergencies was a very broad topic, we narrowed down the scope of our solution to road accidents.

    We chose concept models as our tool of choice for ideating because it really helped us frame the problem. A simplistic model is represented below:

    A simplistic concept model of our problem space


    Our target user population includes anybody that drives a car, and is familiar with the smartphone and smartwatch devices. That said, we picked two personas that could find good use of our solution.


    Keeping our personas in mind, we sketched out an array of distinct solutions that could be a part of the solution. The final version of the sketches are represented below:

    A sketch showing the first few screens of the smartphone app setup process

    A sketch showing the app setup process on the smartphone

    A sketch showing smartwatch features and setup overview

    The Solution

    Our solution is a smartphone and a smartwatch application system called "Always With You", that work together to detect road accidents. Once the app is installed and setup, there is no other action required by the user. The apps detect accidents using data from various sensors from the two devices, and initiate a set of actions.

    Our research and ideation phases led us to come up with some of the most important features of our solution. 

    • Detect an emergency
    • Place a 911 call
    • Inform the victims emergency contacts
    • Send an SOS message to people / hospitals nearby
    • Track and location of victim using GPS

    Low Fidelity Prototypes

    For low fidelity prototypes, we went with paper sketches and cut out frames of screens to visualize our solution.

    Smartwatch paper protoypes

    Hi Fidelity Prototypes 

    Our final solution was a mobile application and its companion smartwatch app called "Always With You". The high fidelity prototypes were created with Bohemian Sketch, and Justinmind tools. 


    Images of the high fidelity protoypes on the smartphone app

    Smartwatch application displays the actions it takes once an accident is detected