We don't like paying for mobile data, and WiFi connections are hard to come by in uncharted territory. We love to travel. We wanted to create a service that sends navigation directions directly via SMS, without the hassles of spotty mobile data connections.
What it does
This service sends navigation directions via SMS without requiring WiFi connection or mobile data. This service supports a custom instructions for a variety of transportation modes, such as driving, bicycling, walking, and even trucking!
How we built it
We used the Twilio API to create a phone number that can send messages and receive instructions to communicate with the user. We used the HERE-Routing and HERE-Geocoder APIs in order to provide the navigation instructions for truck drivers, and the Google Directions API for all other forms of transportation. Finally, we created a Python Flask web server to handle the http request from Twilio, process the user messages, and generate the appropriate output to feed back to Twilio.
Challenges we ran into
It was our first time using Flask, and generating the specific Twilio ML syntax to pass back to Twilio was difficult.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of creating a full application with 3 APIs and one web server to solve a problem relevant to today's consumers.
What we learned
We learned how to set up a Python Flask Web Server, as well as integrating multiple REST based APIs.
What's next for Diro Text
We plan to create a web application to expedite Twilio's phone number verification process. Additionally, we plan to provide an option to send directions on another person's behalf.