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In modern college classrooms, attendance is still being taken manually using pencil and paper. Attendr seeks to eliminate that by using a product almost all college students today own- a smartphone.
What it does
With Attendr, teachers and organizers can set up a classroom easily by adding students' Outlook accounts to a class. Once in this class, the students can sign into their account on the application and scan the QR code for the event they are taking attendance for.
How we built it
Attendr consists of a Node.JS web application for teachers and an Android application for students. Both the web app and the Android application take advantage of the Microsoft Graph API in order to interact with the Outlook accounts associated with the students. A QR code displayed by the instructor changes every 5 seconds to prevent those in the class sharing with other members outside of class. This QR is recognized using the Google Vision library, recognizing the link and sending a verification to the backend with the student's information. If the user is a member of the class, then they are verified and attendance is taken. If not, the user is informed that they are not a member of the classroom they are trying to take attendance for.
Challenges we ran into
Our biggest challenge was deployment of the application after development due to the time it takes to point domains and setup a dedicated server environment. Time management for a project of this size was a critical challenge in our development process. Lastly, the lack of sleep factored in as a challenge to us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Despite time constraints not allowing the exact project we envisioned, we are proud to have created both a web and mobile application that takes advantage of the the Microsoft Graph API, Google's Vision library, and the modern frameworks used in a MEAN stack. We are proud to have been able to implement a base attendance system for campus instructors and organizers alike, in just 36 hours.
What we learned
We learned much about the design process of both mobile and web applications during this hackathon, as well as the use of external libraries and APIs.
What's next for Attendr
Ideally, we would like to spend time fine-tuning the backend of our application and expanding features to integrate further with the Graph API. Additionally, we would like to set it up for use with clubs and campus events.