We use services like Find My. Yet, with recent exploits on companies as large as Facebook on the scale of billions of users, we realize that these services are by nature susceptible to exploitation. The business models and natures of large corporations that profit off of user data and constitute some of the biggest targets for exploitation outside government entities make the security of server data a serious concern.
What it does
Among SMS allows users to share their locations with peace of mind. Our app utilizes state of the art application-to-peer messaging technology to bypass the potentially sus central authority. As a result, Among SMS is highly applicable to sensitive applications including to:
- Avoid data mining by monolithic corporations
- Share locations of minors without fear of interception
- Coordinate protests and keep demonstrations safe
How we built it
We directly send location data from phone to phone in an encrypted manner on any network worldwide. We harness application-to-peer technology which has specific characteristics which are crucial to our mission as outlined below with many security measures at your fingertips to keep your account safe within a decentralized network that derives trust from you, the user.
Designed around the notion of equal peer nodes connected by the application that are both the "client" and the "server" as they send and receive location data.
Routing and Trust
Since each user is a node interfacing with other people whom they trust, there is no need for users to trust the network itself, rather our app is the vector through which users trust one another
No location data is ever stored anywhere other than the two peer nodes in a transaction of information. The application simply assists nodes in exchanging this information, and the info is stored totally offline and locally.
Challenges we ran into
Challenges we encountered include figuring out how to handle SMS, incorporating Google Maps, and accessing location data. Specifically, we spent considerable time accessing and correctly implementing Google Maps protection and keys.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Location display on an accurate and interactive map
- Receives and handles SMS in background; AMONG SMS does not need to be open to receive incoming SMS location updates
- Respectfully accessing and storing location data in SMS messages
- Uses custom art and banners
- Provides alternative for competing location service providers
- Bypasses the internet
What we learned
- Implementing Google Maps API
- Proper use of fragments (particularly with Google Maps)
- SMS handling and sending
- Time management
- Version control
What's next for AMONG SMS
- Improving location retrieval
- Contacts list to send/receive location from
- World domination
- More map features