As the pandemic continues and as we are pulled farther apart from human interaction, there are many downsides; however, people are collaborating more than ever with people all around the world, attending meetings and sessions they could have never done otherwise, and collaborating in ways that once seemed impossible, all from the comfort of their own homes. We wanted to foster online collaborations that may have dulled due to difficulty visualizing as a group, lack of physical collaboration, slow typing skills, and anything else that may be making online brainstorming worse.

What it does

Our web app lets users focus on coming up with ideas and brainstorming rather than the little details like taking meeting notes or creating visual graphics to explain ideas. Our app allows users to quickly jot down ideas with a simple click, which will convert their speech to text and be placed accordingly. Using NLP, the idea will be categorized into categories that best suit the main points of the idea, and an image of the idea will display. The user can continue to speak into the site and branch out their ideas visually as they wish. Although we focused on brainstorming being the main use case, this app can be used for a variety of reasons, such as keeping track of thoughts with a cluttered mind, listing and categorizing ideas when preparing a speech, discussing political topics, listing the pros and cons to an idea, and the list goes on.

How we built it

We used Microsoft Azure's speech to text API, choosing it primarily because it was offered in client-side Javascript, for the transcription of the user's thoughts. We used Google Cloud NLP API to categorize the user's words and Google Cloud Platform to host our site. Additionally, we used HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Node.js.

Challenges we ran into

It was our first time using certain libraries and APIs, so it was initially difficult navigating through the new concepts.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of spinning out a functional app that we were all excited about!

What we learned

We learned about APIs and libraries.

What's next for Brains Storm

We plan on creating functionality to automize brainstorming further and to make brainstorming a more hands-off experience and more focused on ideation. This would be done by allowing speech-to-text capabilities to run for as long as the user would like, while the website captures and notes ideas whenever it seems appropriate and then automatically connects ideas that seem to be related. We would also like to make it multi-user friendly, so that multiple people can work on the same "mind map" at once. We would also like to look into generating these maps in realtime.

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