It started with how any other great product story starts - with addressing a significant problem faced by the common people. Now, one of the gravest problem in a beautiful city like LA is as we all know, the long and arduous Traffic! We already have apps like Lime, Lyft, Uber etc to thank for introducing a platform for rentable electric scooters and bicycles as a noteworthy solution. However, from how we see it, this solution is still in its nascent phase but has a lot of untapped, viable potential. Armed with a major problem, a partial solution and the opportunity of improvement we put 2 and 2 together. We were also inspired by the fact that a lot of the general public comprises of conscious fitness enthusiasts. We then wondered, couldn't we combine these two equitable observations into one solution? It benefits the society as a whole, in that it would inspire youngsters and the elderly alike to exercise daily and stay fit. It would promote a notion of well being amongst all and build a health conscious society. Startups like Lime would be open to collaborate on such projects because it would serve as great PR for them and help publicize their product when people gather around and workout near their kiosks. Students and youngsters are usually the ones we see riding around carefree on the two wheelers. This crowd is the one who usually is faced with a cash crunch and are on a budget and wouldn't mind exercising for 5 minutes if it would help them save some dollars. Clubbing these factors into one solution inspired me to envision Citrus.
What it does?
Citrus is the answer to your traffic and fitness woes alike! In the hustle and bustle of life, we sometimes don't get time to work up a sweat. Infact, Harvard Health has suggested that exercising even for 5-10 minutes in a day on multiple instances throughout the day, is extremely beneficial. Picture this, it is Monday Morning! You decided you would workout daily this day onwards. However, in the grand scheme of events, like always, you are late for a meeting. You couldn't even fit in a 5 minute stretching/muscle training exercise. Enter Citrus, an app through which you can unlock and use the 2 wheeler options available to reach your destination! You approach one of the Citrus Kiosks in your vicinity to use them. This time however, you notice things are different! On the kiosk, there is a tablet installed with a camera. You can now pay for your ride by completing a simple muscle strengthening activity like squats, jumping jacks, lunges or even merely touching your feet. The camera detects and scans your live movements and based on an algorithm, decides if you successfully completed the challenge and credits your Citrus account with money that you can cash in to pay for one of your rides throughout the day!
How I built it?
We first developed the User Interface in HTML5 and CSS. The back end server connection was built using Flask. We imported a pre trained OpenPose library for human movement detection and used the MobileNet_Thin layer in this task. Lastly we designed an algorithm to accurately decide whether a squat has been successfully completed or not.
Challenges I ran into...
Finding a library that would be able to accurately detect body movements proved to be a difficult task. We found Open Pose as a viable tool for the task. The next challenge we faced was determining an efficient algorithm to find out if a squat had been performed accurately and to only then assign the credits to the account. The algorithm had to be modeled like a mathematical equation that would calculate the difference between certain points on the body based on point detection.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of...
From coming up with a brand new business use case to actually designing, building and implementing a workable model for the same was a huge task in just a matter of 2 days. Using MobileNet_Thin and modeling it according to our project was a huge challenge that we are proud of. The aesthetic front end developed in HTML5 is another accomplishment we are proud of as it has a very user friendly interface.
What I learnt?
The project proved to be very informative. Leveraging pre trained APIs and importing libraries from open source projects and then modeling them so that they can be used in ours was something brand new that we learnt out of the development in Citrus. Connecting the HTML front end with Python and Flask in the back end also came as a new learning.
What's next for Citrus?
Citrus can be expanded to more modes of transport in the future. Additionally, there are several business cases which are yet unexplored. To promote the usage of the app and the bikes alike, a person could be awarded more credits if he or she managed to complete the task in fewer seconds or managed to complete more iterations in the same time. World rankings could be assigned to frequent customers based on certain criteria and displayed on the screen. The app could also be modeled as a game wherein 2 or more friends could compete in the same challenge which would create a private game group for them. Customers in a game group would get more credits. Citrus is still in its neo-natal phase. A better training model can be used to identify the movements successfully based on GPU capabilities. A lot has been achieved and yet a lot still needs to be achieved.