The world needs to come together to face the reality of the future for the environment. The news displays these global warming events but even in our daily lives, it has impacted all of us. The biggest inspiration for us was seeing and discussing the differences between the different cultures of how they recycle and how much we need to be selfless. To be selfless is to help ourselves. On our trips to Asia, there was a huge difference in the percentage of how many people will dismiss the recycling bins that are present around us. We want this app to be for those who are from an environment and to use this as a starting point which will introduce the audience to the most generic version to being environmentally friendly.
What it does
We used Android Studio to use as a platform to develop this application. Android mobile phones are the most widely used mobile devices. Thus, we decided to target a wider audience that can be for any age and any gender. We used GPS location to find nearby second-hand stores that can find both food and furniture stores. We were also able to create a points system that is able to give a rewarding pleasure to the user. It is similar to the application that grows a virtual plant that is able to grow as you water it; this is watered every time the user drinks a cup of water. The balance will be incremented whenever the user recycled an item using the recycling machine. Promoting a behavior will allow for the user to become more user-friendly through our point-system.
How we built it
We used Android Studio and Java. For our database, we use the real time database in Firebase, which can be accessed upon user login or registration, and every user is unique through Firebase Authentication. We used Fragments and Menu to separate four different jobs the app can do: Get closest Second hand Store, Identify whether item is recyclable, get to know green events and check user information.
Challenges we ran into
We didn't get fully implement the location-sorting system, so right now the app just displays according to the sequence you added them. We were confused in how we can use the Geocoder to convert an Address to the Longtitude and Latitude. Moreover, while we were working with Firebase Authentication, we discovered that the code only works with the wifi we used to set up, so also we've also spend some time debugging. For the contents of the app (i.e: the information of the stores and the events), we hardcoded it into the app, but with more time, we can retrieve these information from databases. The biggest issue that we ran into was the time constraint; thus, we had to take some shortcuts that would be fixed with more time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
First of all, we got firebase to work!! We are using both Firebase Authentication and Firebase Real Time Database. Then, we are able to create a qr code generator for each user, so that they can check their balance, or increase their balance when the qr code is read by those recycling machine. Overall, we are proud that our mobile app's basic functionality is as we previously wanted.
What we learned
We've learned how to create different Adapters when we want to display the events and stores in combination of recycler view and card view. Moreover, we also learnt how to use firebase, and love it!! Once we get firebase to set up, we've found that using service they provided isn't that hard, in fact very convenient. Lastly, we also learned how to implement and bottom navigation bar with different Fragments.
What's next for GreenLab
Since, we didn't get our location-sorting system to work properly, we will do that first. Then, it will be more convenient for users if we implemented the google calendar API for the event page, so that they can just add the event directly to their google calendar. Next, a lot of contents now are hardcoded and builtin, so the natural thing to do will be building a database and connecting them. Moreover, we can also use firebase storage to store photos of different second-hand stores, events and the profile pic. Last but not the least, we can also implement google vision api in the recycling page rather than just having a database, so that user know whether the object is recyclable just by taking a photo.