ATLAS is an app designed to help keep people informed, safe and within the bounds of the law as they travel across the United States.
Charging for this product would go against our mission statement of increasing open access to information, so it will be offered for iPhone and Android platforms free of charge and supported via non-intrusive advertising. There will also be a 'Pro' version for sale with ads removed which will be given to Kickstarter backers of $10 or more.
The user will set their preferences by indicating their level of interest in each law within a selection of legal categories. Using this information, ATLAS will provide quick, real-time updates to changes in laws as state borders are crossed and as new laws go into effect. ATLAS also provides the full text of each relevant statute should that level of detail be required and can also be used as a dictionary, allowing users to quickly identify differences in laws that should be accounted for prior to visiting another state.
Why We're Making It
On a daily basis, people traveling through or visiting another state run afoul of the law without thinking their actions are illegal, such as in this publicized case from July. Many actions and activities that are legal in one state are illegal in others, resulting in ordinary citizens being penalized for doing what they thought was the right thing.
The vast proliferation of laws and lack of public notices thereof means that few citizens can be expected to keep track of all this information, yet they are expected to do so by the authorities. We want to provide people with a tool to help keep them informed of laws relevant to them, minimize unwanted, unnecessary and expensive encounters with law enforcement officials and to ensure that people have access to all the knowledge they might require when encounters do occur.
Why We're Seeking Help
Currently our team consists of four individuals conducting all of the groundwork necessary to get this app ready for development. While we can do all of the research, designing and marketing with our current resources we lack the experience in native mobile app development that will be required to code the app itself.
We want to hire US-based developers with experience coding native mobile applications in order to ensure that our app keeps users informed as effectively as possible. Additionally, while our team has individuals experienced with legislative matters we do not currently possess the full scope of extensive legal expertise we will require.
How Funds Will Be Utilized
Our team is currently working on this project without compensation in order to bring this vision to reality. However, due to the legal nature of this app the development process is expected to incur significant attorney fees. A bar certified lawyer must be hired in every state for each category of law ATLAS will address. Incurring these costs will allow us to help keep others from needing to do so in the future when their records are on the line, which we think is a worthwhile cause.
In addition to lawyer’s fees, we also require funds to hire a team to perform the actual coding for the iOS and Android platforms. Our current team is highly skilled in their fields and passionate about this project but does not include anyone with experience developing native mobile apps.
While we could reduce our costs by outsourcing the coding stage to India, Romania or any number of other countries we would prefer to hire American programmers and pay them an American wage. We will also need to keep these developers around in order to fix any bugs we catch in testing as well as continue to add functionality/support for new legal categories. We expect the process from funding to initial launch to take anywhere from three to six months.
Depending on your contribution amount you'll get a variety of tangible and intangible rewards including but not limited to a complimentary upgrade to the Pro version of the app, a t-shirt, artisanal scented candles, a high power handheld laser and an invitation to provide input into the development of the app. All contributors will be added to a list of individuals who will be informed once the app has been released and is available for download by the general public.
Backers who contributes $50 or more will be eligible and invited to participate in beta testing. Anyone may register to participate in beta testing but contributors of $50 or more are guaranteed access. Anyone who is interested in beta testing ATLAS may submit their information on our website (atlasapp.us) but acceptance is only assured for Kickstarter backers.
Risks and challenges
All software development efforts face unexpected delays due to unforeseen circumstances; this project is no different. Due to the legal nature of ATLAS there is always the possibility that issues regarding our descriptions/summaries will arise. If we exhaust our funds earmarked for legal review before this is fully completed it could delay the rest of the project.
Our biggest challenge is funding. Securing a skilled, experienced development team and funding our legal review process are our two major points of concern. Both of these issues are quickly resolvable with enough money. Our team is dedicated and motivated to see this project through to completion. Any issues that arise in the future will most certainly be tackled without too much difficulty. We will provide a quality service that provides users with the information they need and create a more lawful America through the use of technology and transparency of the law.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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