For many of us, a long shower at the end of the day helps us relax and wash away our worries. Unfortunately, this luxury is extremely costly for the both the environment and the individual. In order to conserve water and energy, as well as save on utility bills, we need an extra incentive to cut some minutes off of our beloved showers. A team of dedicated conservationists and passionate musicians, we of course decided that music must be the solution to this problem.
What it does
Our project, Burble, includes two components, a mobile iOS app and a website.
The mobile app gamifies showers for the everyday user. It curates a short, 4 - 7.5 minute long playlist for the user when he/she plans to take a shower. The user must finish their shower before the music stops playing in order to gain points towards their "splashscore," which keeps track of one's best streak of environmentally sustainable, short showers. The user can view their shower history towards progressively shorter showers using the app. Burble adds additional social motivation by implementing a leaderboard so that the user can compare their splashscores to those of others and strive to top the list.
Burble's website is primarily informational, offering information about the mobile app's services. It also features a shower usage calculator. The user can input data about their showers (average shower duration, shower flow rate, etc) and the web app determines how many gallons and kWh are consumed each year. It shows the user how much of an impact they can make by simply shortening their shower time.
How we built it
The app was developed in Swift with Xcode. It integrates Firebase, which manages user authentication and serves as a database. Its design and graphics were created with Photoshop and Sketch.
The website was written in HTML, CSS and JS. It is currently hosted on Github.
Challenges we ran into
As inexperienced web developers, we had some trouble linking our JS to the HTML script. We also encountered design issues when it came to the mobile app, struggling to incorporate adequate spacing and animation so as to create a seamless flow of interactions for the user. Running queued audio in the background also proved to be an issue that was thankfully resolved by the AVFoundation framework.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of creating a fully functional mobile app and website in such a short time period. Specifically, we are proud of the UI and UX of Burble's mobile iOS app. It turned out to be very intuitive and engaging.
What we learned
It was interesting to learn about all of the resources that showers require, something that most people take for granted. We also learned much about the customization of UI elements with Swift.
What's next for burble
We would like to integrate the Spotify SDK into the mobile app so that users can sync with their own playlists. We also hope to expand the website so that users can view their shower statistics online. We plan to launch Burble as a complete business venture in the near future.