A low-cost device to stop bullying in schools.

Photo of Yash Narayan
5 15

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Date Started

I first conceived of this idea in 2014 when I was 10 years old. I created a conceptual prototype at the iOS DevCamp, where this idea was awarded the prestigious "Best Educational App", competing against 500 developers across Silicon Valley,

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

Hi Ashoka and T-Mobile, The above video is an explanation about some of my inspiration for creating this solution and explaining what my solution does. I think what makes me a changemaker is my passion to help solve an issue, an issue that I or someone I know has faced. In particular, I believe what truly sets me apart is facing bullying as an issue in school and knowing how detrimental and terrible it felt to be bullied. I am willing and committed to solving bullying as an issue for my community and people around the globe who face it every single day. From an early age, I have wanted to connect both entrepreneurialism and social good for the world and creating this idea into a reality will help continue these goals. Thanks, Yash

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Every year millions of kids are victims of bullying. In fact, in the United States alone around 1 out of every 3 people say they have been bullied in there lifetime. Getting bullied does long-term damage. Bullying has been linked to 160,000 teens skipping school every day! Without the right solution, this problem will be in a never-ending loop. It is clear that this is a huge problem, and a solution is needed urgently. BullyWatch is just that!

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

I created BullyWatch when I was a 10-year-old because I faced bullying in school and wanted to do something to solve this problem. BullyWatch is a watch that will help prevent bullying. The concept is as follows: BullyWatch starts out as a normal watch. At any time if you feel bullied, harassed, or intimidated, you can tap the watch, and it changes its color to 'orange'. This is an indication to everyone around that the person is feeling bullied or harassed. Many times the bully doesn't know the feelings of the other person and once they realize they might back off. Bullywatch also starts recording the conversation and a video at the first tap. If the bully does not back off after the warning, you can press the watch for 3 seconds and the color will change to 'Red'. Simultaneously, BullyWatch will send a message with the geo-location and the recording to a supervisor at the school to come and resolve the conflict. We think that BullyWatch will be able to stop bullying everywhere once and for all!

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Imagine a kid is playing a game of ping pong. The watch's color is currently white, indicating to everyone that the kid is feeling ok. If at anytime the kid feels like someone is teasing, bullying or harassing he tap the watches button and it will turn to the color orange, indicating to everyone around him that he is feeling bullied. Most of the times the bully will back off, but if the bully does not stop bullying, the kid can hold the watch's button for 3 seconds and it turns to the color red. Then in the backend, the watch will send a message to the kids geo-location to a supervisor at the school to come and help resolve the conflict.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Currently, there are no solutions or products out there that try to solve bullying in schools. BullyWatch is a practical and low-cost IoT based solution that every kid will be able to afford. Every child wearing BullyWatch will feel empowered and safe. BullyWatch can be offered as a subscription service to schools or parents for a low monthly fee.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

I have been making people aware of the bullying problem throughout my community, whether it's my school or a local STEM Fair. The idea has attracted some press coverage already. It has also inspired children to use technology to help solve big challenges facing the world. Take a look at some press articles on BullyWatch, and what people have written about it: Awards: Best Educational App (iOSDevCamp 2014 winner) Best Educational App == Bullywatch: http://www.iosdevcamp.org/iosdevcamp-2014-winners/ 2. Stand-up to Bullying - Youngzine: https://youngzine.org/news/societyarts/stand-bullying 3. Silicon Valley Teens on the Future of Technology: https://www.recode.net/2014/10/5/11631590/silicon-valley-teens-on-the-future-of-technology

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I started prototyping this idea when I was 10. Initially, I developed this as an app where I could test out the concept with my peers in school. This app functioned exactly how the watch would and allowed me to capture valuable feedback from users. Last year, I started prototyping BullyWatch using an Arduino board at my school's Innovation Lab. I was able to achieve the basic functionality that I needed. The next step is to reduce the cost and power consumption to manufacturing this design. I believe that with the right amount of resources I will be able to convert this prototype into an elegant product that can be made available in the real world.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Currently, I am getting support from family, teachers, and mentors. At my school, we have a design lab where I can prototype and test my design. My eventual goal is to manufacture and commercialize this product. I still need to refine the design to reduce cost and power consumption. I will need funding to be able to manufacture and market the product.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

Creating BullyWatch into a viable business and product means that we will need more people. I would love partnering and connecting with other young leaders and changemakers who will be able to help me in various ways, whether it means designing or helping market the product.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Article in the news
  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

I heard about this amazing program from my aunt. I think Changemakers is a fantastic opportunity, and it will help build my idea into a successful startup, which will impact millions of people around the globe.

Evaluation results

5 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 60%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 40%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 80%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 20%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 60%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 20%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 20%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 50%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 60%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 40%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Parum Misri

It's definitely an interesting idea. I have a question though: are you envisioning this as an app for, say, smartwatches; or as a wholly separate product? Or, if possible, both?

Photo of Yash Narayan

Great question! The end goal and vision of BullyWatch is to have it as a low cost smart watch. The reason for having a customized watch means we will be able to have more capabilities and functions that will match are customers needs. Though, at first there is definitely a possibility that we will first offer are users an app that they can download on a pre exsisting smart watch (for example: Apple Watch). So in whole, to summarize, there is a high likelyhood that we offer BullyWatch customers, both the option of an app and a smartwatch. Thanks, and let me know if you have any other questions!

Photo of Parum Misri

Thanks for the clarification!

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