A lot of people these days spend a lot of time on their phones. We're always looking to see what our friends are doing. So we figured, why not just go there? Beacon let's you know when a friend is doing something cool nearby so more people can do more cool things together.
What it does
Beacons allows you to place a marker in a location where you're doing something interesting. You can give your Beacon a title and some tags to describe what you're doing, then when a friend comes within range of the Beacon they'll get a notification on their phone.
How we built it
On the front-end we are developing apps for Android and iOS that allow you to place new Beacons, see a map of nearby Beacons, and search for Beacons by tags. On the back-end, we have a few RESTful endpoints for our API \ written in Java. We store our users and Beacons with location information in MongoDB, and we use GeoSpatial queries to find out which Beacons are nearby.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into some issues getting our AWS instance up and running, as well as it being a constant battle on the mobile development side.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We did create several endpoints for our API and have them hosted on AWS as well as hosting our MongoDB instance on the cloud. Hopefully the mobile apps will be connected soon too!
What we learned
We learned a bunch of things, including but not limited to: how difficult it is to get a Tomcat server to work properly, that Zach really doesn't like programming in Swift, and that productivity drops severely after 4 am.
What's next for Beacon
We plan to complete our API and mobile apps so we can get people using it and doing cool stuff as soon as possible! This will include serving push notifications to both the iOS and Android apps regarding nearby Beacons.
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