As a young Muslim woman, I realized that most people are simply unaware of Islam because they have never met a Muslim. We realized, especially during COVID-19, it has become increasingly difficult to connect with others, let alone learn about Islam. On the other hand, Googling about Islam is not very reliable. Our team came together to build an app that would not only empower Muslims in their faith but also give non-Muslims the space to ask questions regarding Islam, receiving answers directly from trusted community leaders.
What it does
Our forum and chat feature allows non-Muslim individuals to meet with Muslims to learn more about Islam. Simultaneously, Muslims from around the world are able to reach out to their fellow brothers and sister; connecting them in a virtual world. Our resources tab serves as a repository of information such as an Islamaphobia hotline and even mental health resources. The most immersive part of our app though is the VR Experience. The user is able to enter a virtual masjid, immediately hearing the call the prayer.
Challenges we ran into
Because this was our first time using Blender and Unity to create the VR rendering, our team was struggling to learn the design methods with Blender. Also, rendering took almost the entire day which was very nerve-racking for us! Ultimately, this became our favorite feature of the app because of how accurate and beautiful it came out.
What's next for faith.io
In the future, we would like to add a separate forum component that allows other young Muslims to connect with each other. Moreover, our team would have liked to implement a badge or verification sticker to the forum for users who are trusted Imams and Scholars or community leaders. Eventually, we would like to scale this app so that Imams use this to connect to their community (both Muslim and non-Muslim). Finally, in order to make the app more accessible, we plan to implement a Translation API that can ensure universality.