Being in one of the many Techtalks in UNIHACK, we noticed people behind struggling to view the slides in front. What makes it worst is that when a particular slide of interest pops up, everyone competes to take a photo of the slide. We asked ourselves if there was a better way. After throwing the thought around we paid more attention to iBeacons by Estimote. We soon realise that there was a huge amount of potential use cases for these iBeacons which previously only appealed to the more tech-savy and retail.

Another source of inspiration was when we created a Google Doc for us all to work on and we had to go through the pain of entering everyone's details. We thought "we are already sitting together, why can't we take advantage of that for collaboration?".

What it does

Using iBeacon technology in a revolutionary way, we refer to them as 'Storage Gems', where the owner can essentially load the Gem up with specific content and actions.

We created a platform that includes a native IOS application and a website dashboard that allows for customization of iBeacon experience. From the dashboard, our clients will be able to tailor make an experience for their users. We have chosen 4 use cases to demonstrate.

The first one would be the case of an event like UNIHACK. Event organizers would be able to share in real-time presentation slides to the audience. This will allow the audience to take a screenshot directly within their phone without disrupting the others. Event organizers can also limit the proximity to share more sensitive contents like wifi Passwords.

Another interesting feature that we included is the "Whiteboard" feature. This is similar to any other collaborative documentation tool such as Google Docs. The main difference that we offer is security, and that no login details or 'share links' are needed. Content owners will be able to share a document with other collaborators based on proximity.

It also made sense for us to implement a gamified demonstration to really stretch the potential use of our platform. We named it the "Game of Gems" which was adapted from the age old capture the flag.

How we built it

The native app IOS app was built with Swift while the dashboard and the game was built with basic Javascript and Bootstrap. The back-end was all taken care of by Google's Firebase.

Challenges we ran into

  • Two of three of us in the team are from an Engineering background rather than an IT one. This means that our depth of technical knowledge is limited.

  • Another thing was that there were so many other iBeacons in the testing site that it got a little annoying at some point. We resolved this issue by enabling toggling between our iBeaconds in the Dashboard.

  • We had issues adding Firebase SDK into our project. After hours of troubleshooting, we realized that we did not include the proper frameworks and libraries

  • Accomplishments that we're proud of

    We are as a team are quite satisfied with how coherent the UX of the platform turned out to be. It has so far yield consistent results during our testings. We are also quite excited to share this new use of iBeacons particularly giving it a different spin by using it as gems of bytes. Lastly, we are also proud of how much we manage to get done in under 20 hours.

    What we learned

    Joon Ng Personally, I have never heard of these iBeacons before the last 24 hours. Being able to get my hands on this piece of elegant looking tech was pretty exciting. Working along side with David gave me teaser of what coding native IOS apps are like.

    George I learnt how much I can accomplish with little to no sleep. Being in my first hackathon, I learn to work in a team while coping under pressure. IBeacons are also foreign to me initially and it has been quite an experience being able to work with these sort of tech

    David I have learnt more about the using of iBeacons and their limitations. I also learnt a lot about using FireBase for the backend and integrating it into a project. It was also great to work with other people from a different background and skill set and learn to try and communicate our ideas and vision effectively. I also learnt about prioritisation and only building what is necessary.

    What's next for SmartGems?

    As corny as it may sound, the possibilities for our platform, SmartGem is limitless.

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