For this project, the goal was to rapidly create an Android application that includes the use of sensing on a phone, the persistence of information, and network communication. The SpySnap android application combines the use of touch gestures, locally stored information, and interaction to an online database created with Parse. 


SpySnap is made to promote secret recording. Unfortunately, this brings up privacy issues. For this reason this app is aimed at users who are authorized officials with permits or secret service officials. It can also be used in everyday recording situations or for user interviews, where consent to audio record is obtained. In such cases, researchers have no need to worry about losing audio information given that it is quickly sent to the online database.

Duration: 2 weeks

Team Size: A team of two M.S. Human-Computer Interaction students.

Team Members: Reema Upadhyaya and Laurel Warrell

Skills Exercised: Android Programming, Android Studio, Parse

Project Roles:

I was responsible for coding the gestures, connecting to the application to the Parse database to allow for back and forth communication, constructing the application's internal workflow, and formulating the application layout.


How SpySnap Works:


Download application to mobile device.


Select the SpySnap app.


Post a recording.


To start recording, the user is prompted to perform a secret gesture. The gesture that starts the recording is a one-finger tap. The user's location is also captured as the recording is initiated.


To stop the recording, the user also has to perform a gesture. The gesture that stops the recording is a one-finger drag in the downward direction. Users then have the option to play their recordings out loud and/or post the recording. When the recording is successfully stopped and posted, the user's location, latitude, and longitude information are automatically stored and pushed into the Parse database. 


At this point, the user can tag the video by giving it a unique name before posting it. The given name can be used to later locate specific recordings.


Back at the homepage, a user can choose to view all recordings.


This view presents a list of previously made recordings, along with their names and any notes posted with them.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 6.40.21 PM.png

The user can choose to logout if needed.





Here is a view of all information populated in the database.

Click to expand.




Video of User Interactions