All three of our team members are in leadership roles in different clubs at our respective colleges, and in the past month as we’ve been recruiting new members for our clubs for the spring semester, we’ve discovered - through public surveys - that most of the new people who show up to our club recruitment events were attracted by physical flyers posted on bulletin boards, rather than our Facebook events or email newsletters. However, the bulletin boards around campus are often extremely cluttered and hard to read, and also waste a lot of paper (and kill trees!). There are always many posters still on the board for events that have long passed that take away space from clubs that need to advertise upcoming events. So we came up with the idea to have an electronic bulletin board, using an Android app.
What it does
Our app asks the user to verify that they attend a certain college by logging in with their .edu email. Once verified, the user can then see a list of all the flyers “posted” on this virtual bulletin board, as well as “post” flyers of their own to the board.
How we built it
We built our app in Java on Android-Studio, and linked it to firebase for login authentication and storing user/flyer information.
Challenges we ran into
This project has not been done before. We had many difficulties getting the Geofencing API to work as we needed. Additionally, the user authentication process was tricky. Right before submission, our authentification/login system ceased to work properly so we had to submit an older version without it. We also had a team member building an in-app messaging system with Twilio so users could send flyers to their friends, but it was not finished in time either.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Two out of three of us had never used Android-Studio before, yet we managed to work together and create an Android app. We implemented a working geo-fence after much time struggling.
What we learned
We learned how to use Android-Studio, how to use the firebase API, how to use Google maps API, how to use Twilio, and how to use Git-Hub.
What's next for Bulls Eye
We see our app being used on all college campuses and institutions/workplaces that have bulletin boards that advertise events. It will eventually include the ability to sync events posted on the virtual bulletin boards with the user’s phone calendar, as well as the ability to filter through “flyers” posted on the “bulletin board” based on date, type of event, and distance. We will also add a feature to share event flyers with friends through SMS, as well as SMS reminders an hour before events come up. We think all students and members of the workforce will find our app useful and we hope to save many trees and reduce paper waste from physical flyers. We also think this will make the experience of viewing bulletin boards much more organized and targeted toward each individual user, since they will be able to sort for events by categories they’re most interested in, rather than having to sweep their eyes across a bulletin board full of flyers.