Winning hackathon idea provides family tech support with secure phone-to-phone remote access

Providing on-call instructions to solve a phone-related problem has always been a challenge for everyone, especially tech-savvy people. Well, here’s some good news: It could soon end up with this year’s winner in the award-winning new “family tech support” app idea. Microsoft Hackathon.

We love our families, but listening in to help them troubleshoot their phones during meetings probably makes you roll your eyes. What’s worse, if you’re considered the family’s official tech support, you may be getting annoying calls at any time of the day just asking how to turn on mobile data, how to increase texts, where those particular apps are, and so on. In addition, giving instructions through calls is extremely, extremely difficult. If you’re into more advanced troubleshooting, it’s like trying to find something in a dark room. These are the same concerns as the 2022 Hackathon winning team, which defeated over 68,000 Microsoft employees in 89 countries. The idea is to create a dedicated app that will allow tech-savvy family members to remotely access their loved ones’ Android phones. This will make it easier for them to troubleshoot their loved ones’ portable devices in a secure connection.

The idea of ​​remote access to a device is not new to Microsoft. there is a sound Remote Desktop which allows you to access computers located elsewhere, and Phone link (formerly the Your Phone app) that allows you to interact with your phone using a PC. The same app concept is also not new to other brands that offer almost the same solutions. However, the 2022 hackathon winning family tech support app will have a very specific design, allowing for notifications of help requests and convenient delivery of technical support over the phone. And while it will allow tech-savvy parents to remotely access your phone, Rajeshwari Godbole, a member of the team, explained that their winning work reflects the opposite idea of ​​parental control apps in families.

“With an app for seniors, you need to be less restrictive and be in control without invading privacy, giving them freedom but being able to track to quickly fix things,” said developer Rajeshwari Godbole of Microsoft Nuance Dragon. A dictation app for anywhere as well as a team member. “Everyone I talk to says they need it, whether it’s their dad, uncle, grandparents, cousin who isn’t tech-savvy, or an adult child with autism who lives in a nursing home. help.

The family tech support app will provide tech-savvy family members with a practical way to provide tech support to their loved ones while respecting their privacy, the team said. In doing so, the app will allow solution recipients to revoke access to their phones at any time to prevent technical support from viewing device-specific content. In this regard, the group would like to emphasize the importance safety when you allow remote access to another person. That’s why the family support app will be specially designed so that parents or trusted persons can control the device remotely.

“I want to help my father, but as a security worker, I know what bad actors can do when given the chance and how good intentions can be abused,” said Michael Monvuba, a member of the Family Support Claims Group and member Microsoft Audit Teams. “So safety was key.”

Monwuba’s experience in privacy and security auditing led the team to the idea of ​​giving the app the ability to cancel a help request if it wasn’t responded to promptly. Thanks to this and the ability to revoke a login at any time, the application can provide better security.

The concept of a family tech support app will be the subject of a broader review by the company. And for final approval, the team will pitch their idea to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the coming months. In the process, the concept may receive more improvements, leading to more features that will further highlight its specific goal of family-oriented tech support.

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