Southern California has a "car culture" that we should gradually move away from. Our public transportation system is very flawed while many other major cities have more efficient systems. Our goal for this app is to not only encourage more people to take public transportation, but also to gradually improve California's energy efficiency for a more sustainable future.
What it does
The app tracks the position and speed to ensure that people actually take public transportation (walking, biking, taking the bus) and converts their mileage into points that they can accumulate on their account and then spend on incentives such as gift cards or a premium subscription. The user profile (username, email) and their rewards points are stored on Firebase.
How we built it
We used Android Studio with Java to build our application and Firebase to store the user's profiles and mileage data. We were originally going to make a website using HTML/CSS, but we decided to switch to Android Studio for an app.
Challenges we ran into
Getting location services to work with our application accurately enough to track walking/taking buses, security issues with our first project idea, syncing our app's data with the Firebase database, and everyone was new to Android Studio so learning took a while.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Syncing our app with the Firebase database, learning how to use Android Studio from scratch, getting location services to work with our application, and the simple UI for the login/register screen.
What we learned
We learned how to use Android Studio with its basic commands, how to link a database to our application, and how to distribute work (and rest) efficiently throughout the team members. A lot of our team's problems came from being unfamiliar with our tools. Communication was also an issue early on, but we improved as time passed.
What's next for EcoWalker App
We need to implement how incentives will be earned by us, so we were planning to use ad revenue or a subscription for special features such as fastest routes to earn this money. Any extra income that we would earn would be then be donated toward marathons and environmental relief programs. We also want to implement more features on the Google Maps API to track traffic and improve location accuracy.