For this project our inspiration was from our own past experiences. Being stuck in a place where you need to access an important document or a website but you have no mobile data or wifi? It can be quite difficult when all you have is an sms service. Storing files offline is one option that quickly runs out once you're out of storage. Four O' Four is a bot that sets out to overcome these issues and push the boundaries of a simple SMS.
What it does
Four O' Four allows you to access the internet without needing to have an internet connection. It does this using the old school SMS technology. Four O' Four also brings new features into SMS like a file cabinet. This allows users to store their important pdf documents on the backend and access them at any time using an SMS message. Currently, Four O' Four supports website browsing (including google searching), file storage and even instagram.
How we built it
Four O' Four uses a flask backend that runs a selenium web driver. All SMS handling is done using the Twilio API.
Challenges we ran into
The most difficult challenges were to scroll on a web pages. This required the backend web driver to somehow remember where the user was on the webpage based on the previous GET request it had made. Along with this the difficulty of speed was also a hurdle. Since each request can't have a new web driver - in the end we settled for an architecture where there is a single web driver on the backend that takes all requests.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're particularly proud of accomplishing a way to access the internet with no network connection and no mobile data. Simply through a cellular network we were able to store files, browse websites and even social media websites.
What we learned
Throughout the development process we learnt a lot about the Twilio API and how it works. We were also able to brush up backend technologies like Flask and web scraping techniques using Selenium.
What's next for Four O' Four