Due to COVID-19, lots of people are feeling isolated or lonely without the social contact they find at their local pub, library, barbershop, or restaurant. At the same time, cultural centers and businesses are affected due to the lack of patronage caused by global quarantine.

We wanted to bridge this gap by building an authentic digital space for people to spend time together, much as they do in the physical world, while providing a way for businesses to keep promoting themselves through virtual means. Our app will provide a virtual platform for businesses and individuals to welcome others into their own spaces and events, such as museums, coffee shops, and parties, and make them feel like they're having genuine interactions. These large group gatherings and events will be shown on a real-time map, so users have the option to choose where they want to be and when they want to be there.

We noticed that many businesses are turning to virtual platforms, such as Zoom, to host large gatherings and meetings. However, the problem with these platforms is that they don't offer the natural ability to mingle around from conversation to conversation and location to location like one would in an in-person gathering. Our app will provide a means for users to engage with others and their surroundings in a more human way.

What it does

We’ve combined the real-time technologies of the Internet, including technologies like RTC audio streaming, real-time mapping/localization, voice balancing, and spatial awareness.

This simulates the experience of navigating a crowded space with a few groups of people, and then settling into a conversation you find interesting. There are also points of interest in the room with questions to guide conversations.

How we built it

We used SDKs for real-time audio streaming and adjusted the loudness of each stream in real-time based on the distance between individuals in the room. This mimics the natural way we perceive sound in the real world.

Users can use the simple and intuitive drag and drop interface to move around the room. We used Firebase to store the location of each person in the room and update them in real-time.

We used MapBox to display all the open crowds users can join on a world map.

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