Inspiration

To this day, a lot of people are still affected by the causes of Hurricane Irma because of poor communication. Google has been trying to solve this problem with Project Loon; which offers balloons to float over areas and offer internet to people below. This is cool, but not instantly deployable after a natural disaster. Not only are there communicational issues, but people all around the world are living in a littered infestation. So much litter is showing up on coastal shores, local highways, and etc. We all know we need to aim for a sustainable future.

There are so many reasons to build a local decentralized mesh network: local freedom of speech, local decentralized file sharing, and etc.

What it does

Our app utilizes a technology stack called SPAN, Smart Phone Ad-hoc Networking. This allows to create a mesh network of cellphones ("nodes") to communicate with each other with no internet or cellular connectivity. The way it works is, it uses your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip to communicate with different cellphones that are listening for the same ad-hoc network identifier. This being said, SPAN is perfect for post natural disasters. Imagine being on a small populated island that got hit by a monstrous hurricane with no internet, electricity, and cellular service. Using EcoSPAN (our app), you can use your cellphone that has some battery life left and communicate with the locals to help or be assisted.

Furthermore, the other portion of our app allows users to go out in groups and start cleaning up our beautiful planet. We created an incentive-based garbage collection platform that gets everyone motivated. With our app, you can take a picture of trash bags, send it to our API, we classify if you are outside and are collecting garbage, then award you and everyone around you. The way we award the ones around you is through the local ad-hoc platform. If you are connected to other phones, those phones will receive a small reward and notify the user they just been awarded some points because someone nearby is picking up garbage. Hopefully, this would create a chain of picking up trash.

Our incentive program would be funded by donations and ad-revenue.

How we built it

With lots of research and dedication.

Challenges we ran into

We never coded in Swift before and never created an iOS app before.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Creating a Smart Phone Ad-hoc Network that completely works and allows you to communicate with anyone that has the app downloaded and running on their iPhone.

What we learned

Swift/iOS/Xcode

What's next for EcoSPAN

Android app with cross-platform compatibility.

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