Inspiration

In our new normal we were seeing more and more restaurants go paperless and adopt menus that allowed you to scanned with a QR code. It was a seamless, touchless, and fast experience to present a convenient yet non-intrusive way to deal with Covid-19. We thought that's great for menus but maybe we could apply it to something more critical: contact tracing. Right now contact tracing is either missing or a slow form induced process for businesses. Breadcrumbs can change this by making it a one-second transaction for the customer and the restaurant. Any restaurant/business can implement breadcrumbs as long as they have a smart device and have internet.

What it does

Breadcrumbs is a new way for customers to interact with their favorite restaurants/businesses which makes contact tracing a one-second transaction. All a customer has to do is present the Breadcrumbs QR code for the restaurant employee to scan. Once scanned, an anonymous userId associated with the customer and a timestamp of the customer's last visit will be associated with the restaurant as well as the place the customer sat or ordered from in the restaurant. The businesses can add tables and edit the user status from the Breadcrumbs Admin Dashboard. If a user is diagnosed with Covid-19, they can notify all restaurants they interacted with while staying anonymous. The business will get an email telling them the table and time the user came in so they can notify their staff to clean the area as well as encourage the staff to get checked.

How We built it

Andrew modeled the backend with Firebase Firestore and created the Admin Console in Vue Js with Authentication also done by Firebase. Nicole at the same time created the Mobile App with Flutter and Dart using the same Backend.

Additionally, René provided the concept, did user research engaging directly with the Department of Health and San Francisco test sights, provided input on design, approaches, and administrated user testing on concepts and design including a few local restaurants. Dan would provide input on design and approaches.

Challenges We ran into

Some challenges we came across when working on this project was deciding what methods we could use to eliminate the complexity of contact tracing, the technologies that would best fit, and the features that were most important to complete to showcase our idea.

In the future, however, the challenges will include requiring paid services in our apps to scale to production, if we decided to roll out to every person in Canada or the US. For example, instead of using our custom email server, we would either use a firebase paid cloud function or extension or a service like Twilio. Additionally, verification of businesses during registration will likely require a paid vendor to do Identity/Business Verification to prove they own that business at that location in addition to the registration form.

Accomplishments that We are proud of

We are proud of how quickly we were able to code and execute this idea as an engineering team. We are also proud of how simple and straight forward the user experience for customers and restaurant employees are. Finally, we are proud that this technology might have a huge positive impact on keeping people safe during these pandemic times.

What We learned

There are a lot of surprising and unsettling truths of our new normal when it comes to trends and statistics, and it is up to us to help fix the problem with modern solutions. What this hackathon showed us is that even a team of four strangers can come together and apply themselves to solve huge problems on a global scale. Coding wise, we became more familiar with Flutter and learned how to merge two very different technologies to propose a simple solution for efficient contact tracing.

What's next for Breadcrumbs

Some improvements/ features we want to incorporate next and include:

  • Make improvements to the user interface/ design for the app and website.
  • Add a feature to mass notify employees when a user clicks "I have Covid-19".
  • Showing which employees logged in when on the Admin Console, so the business/restaurant can track employee activity as well.
  • Adding a quantity counter so stores can track the max capacity of customers coming in and out of the restaurant/business.
  • Make the mobile app more responsive and available on Android as well.
  • Implement Augmented Reality so large capacity restaurants can quickly scan tables and seating locations into the database and provide recommendations for the distancing layout of tables and seating arrangements.

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