It all started when we were laughing about how there was now a tinder for everything. Upon further reflection on how our frieds are really good at swiping right on people who are really bad for them, we figured it would be better just to set them up. That's where Wingman comes in.
What it does
Dating is hard enough without having to worry about having nothing in common with your date, or worse yet, having to be concerned about your safety. Why not meet the friends of the people you already trust the most instead?Wingman is an Android dating app that allows you to both set up and be set up by your closest friends. It works by connecting to your Facebook friends list and allowing you to pick 2 of your mutual friends to set up. You can optionally add a comment about why they would be a good match for each other - for example, similar tastes in music or movies. The app notifies each friend and gives them the option to swipe right or left on suggestions from their "wingmen", Tinder-style. If both swipe right, it's a match, and the 'wingman' is notified that they are the reason for the two newest lovebirds on the block!
How we built it
We all interned at the same company over the summer learning Android, so we ended up leveraging our experience with Android Studio and related technologies to develop our final product. We used Firebase as our backend/data service and connected to Facebook's graph API to collect all of our data.
Challenges we ran into
We originally wanted to use React Native since it has quickly become one of the most popular and powerful languages for all platform. However we found that the learning curve was a little too steep given the limited amount of time we had, and we decided to stick with what we knew in order to focus on better execution. We then ran into a host of Facebook/Firebase-related authentication issues that prevented us from truly beginning development until 9:00pm on Saturday. Additionally, we ran into challenges with passing information between fragments, threading API calls, and using Firebase in general, since most of us had never seen it before.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Successfully navigating Firebase setup, using the Facebook API well, and pulling together a solid Android app in less than 12 hours. More than anything, we were passionate about the idea behind our app, which we truly believe has a place in the market, and which kept us motivated through the final stretch.
What we learned
It was nice to learn the basics of React during the first day of the hackathon and about how Firebase differed from similar services we'd used in the past (such as Parse). For most of us, it was also our first hackathon experience, so we really benefited from the experience of creating an entire product from scratch in a limited amount of time and would definitely be able to budget our time and energy more productively in the future.
What's next for Wingman
Rather than relying entirely on the wingmen to set up suitable matches, one of the main features we wanted to implement was a ranking algorithm based on the more detailed information available on Facebook profiles, like numbers of mutual friends, location, pages liked, groups joined, relationship status, etc. With most of the heavy lifting done algorithmically, the role of the users in the app could be a lot more nuanced and interesting. Additionally, after getting a match, we wanted to include a messaging feature to make it easier for matchees to communicate and meet up in person. We also would've liked to include a point or leaderboard system for the wingmen in order to not only facilitate competition and incentivize suggestions, but also give the best wingmen more credibility for future suggestions.