There were a few key instances that have occurred in most of our respective lives, which have inspired us to develop Echo. One of these situations is when a child is walking home from school but maybe walks slower or stops at the park to hang out with their friends, without their parents knowing. The parents are sitting at home, worried about the well-being of their child, and will get mad at the child when they enter the house. If only there was a way for these parents to know where their child was (even if the child was lying!)...
What it does
Echo is a web application designed as a supplement for location services as it allows the user to track the location and status with a few clicks. This is especially useful for specific users, such as individuals who want to track the locations of their loved ones, parents who want to know where their children are, and even businesses who want to know the geographic positioning of their employees. An analogy for this is that the user is the "supervisor" and anyone signed up under their account is a "worker".
How I built it
Echo was built using various technologies to achieve the functionality we had envisioned from the program. We used Django for the backend of the web application, and the Django template engine to make the front-end design. The Bulma CSS Framework in order to simplify the process of making the front-end design. SendGrid and django.core.emails was used to set up and send emails to users. Finally, Python's request packages was used for GET and POST requests.
Challenges I ran into
One of the main challenges the group ran into was during the beginning part of the hackathon, which was actually determining the project to develop. Another challenge we faced was trying to extract data from a dictionary regarding "worker" location, which ended up being a very simple syntax error.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
One of our larger accomplishments is that the website is fully functional and actually running, which means our goals for the hackathon were achieved. We were also proud of being able to successfully complete a full-stack project by learning how the front end and back end of the project work and interact together.
What I learned
One thing we learned was how to deal with RESTful API's in the program. We also learned about how python can be used to call or access API's needed in the program. Furthermore, we learned how to use a SMTP server to send emails. Finally, we learned how to use Django in order to create a full-stack web application.
What's next for Echo
There are a few steps we wanted to take forward with Echo which we could not fit into the time frame of the Hackathon. One of these features is live tracking, where "supervisors" can track the path taken by the "workers" rather than just knowing of their status and current location (as we currently have). Another feature we wanted to add was implementing a user system with a functioning login prompt. Furthermore, we wanted to add a customization feature which gives the user more control on the display of the app. All of these features are seen to improve the functionality of the web app and increase user satisfaction. However, another expansion of this idea is to develop a cross-platform iOS and Android app (e.g. on Flutter) so that users have easier accessibility to the application.