Cash hurts to spend. Seeing your hard earned money disappear so easily strikes a nerve like few other things do. Simply spending a $20 bill on pizza can be a hard moment for most. Then why is it so easy to swipe a credit card for hundreds of dollars? The difference is visualization. Being able to actually see the money physically leave your possession is hard, but seeing a number in your account go down is easy. That is where Budgeteer! comes in. Using a simple google cardboard and any Android 4.4 KitKat or above device you can easily see your monthly budget before your very eyes.
What it does
Allows you to input your monthly budget into an Android app or custom website and visualize how your money is being spent in VR.
How we built it
Amazon web services is the core of our application. The Android and web app both send your information to a central Flask server. The VR then renders your monthly budget right in front of you in real time based on your unique username.
Challenges we ran into
Virtual Reality was certainly the most difficult aspect. Originally spending our time learning Android studio specific VR, we quickly realized that it was not the most effective tool for our needs. Late at night with the clock winding down we had to pivot into Unity and start reading documentation while it was downloading.
Reading and writing to the AWS server from multiple platforms while trying to keep consistency across our platforms proved challenging as well.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Getting everything to proper working state felt amazing. With about 6 hours of sleep between all of our team members, we proved to ourselves that we can buckle down and take on challenges with new technologies to create something we are proud of.
What we learned
Even trying to keep your application within the scope of a 24hr hackathon, feature creep can be a real problem! We started with our eyes to the sky and quickly realized how hard the ground can be when you fall. Having to work under a fast-looming deadline after a hard pivot in technology and vision is stressful, but rewarding.
What's next for Budgeteer!
Fully fleshing out the application. -Adding 401k support -Cleaning/adding to the VR graphics -Visual polish to Android app -Allow you to visualize the data through charts and other conventional means from the web app and Android app -Integrate financial API to be able to compare your budget and spending habits to averages of others -And many more we haven't even thought of yet!