Suggested Research Topic: Improving the Robustness and Context-Sensitivity of Mobile Drinking Water Quality Testing Solutions

Drinking water is one the most important and fundamental elements every human needs to prosper. Having access to clean drinking water was declared as a universal Human Right by the United Nations in 2010 [1]. Nevertheless, in reality there is a lack of quality access to drinking water – at least 2 billion people use drinking water sources contaminated with feces. Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, or polio. Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 502.000 diarrheal deaths each year [2].

There are different ways of testing water for its drinkability. One common approach is to use standardized testing strips, as their application is quick and cost-efficient. However, the test results of water testing strips can be flawed by interpretation errors, as the person carrying out the test has to compare the colors on the strip with a reference card. Additionally, tests from different persons may result in different outcomes.
The goal of this research topic is to explore and develop easy to use solutions with the help of mobile applications to replace and assist the human eye and interpretation with the help of a smartphone’s camera and context-sensitive visualizations.

Recommended prior knowledge: Android App development and basic understanding of computer graphics (image processing).

Students who wish to work in this area, please apply via email to deco-teaching@inso.tuwien.ac.at with a short statement about your background and interest related to this research topic.

[1] http://undocs.org/A/RES/64/292
[2] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water