Squadify

Inspiration

Ever had a hard time to find a squad to watch the latest horror movie or maroon 5 concert with? Or wish you had reasons to hang out with old friends? Squadify helps you squad-up for an activity with your Facebook friends through Alexa. Just ask Alexa "help me plan my hangout", then you will be seamlessly matched to your Facebook friends who might be interested in what you are looking to do.

What it does

This Alexa Skill will launch after you ask Alexa "Help me plan my hangout". Then Alexa will ask you what you want to do. After you decide your activities, Alexa will pull the query from Facebook Graph API to understand who might be interested in your activities based on your friend's liked pages, language they speak, liked movies and other public information on the profiles. Once Alexa finds out which friends would be the best fit for this certain activity, Alexa will list the top 5 people on your friends list that might be interested in that hangout as well!

How we build it

We built an Alexa skill with Python and flask. We also used Facebook Graph API to pull the possible friends from the tags of the user's photos, the people who tagged the user. We did not pull up the friend list for the user since Facebook does not provide this functionality for the privacy measurements. We also used the IMDB api to interpret user voice input as movie names. With all of these information, we can find an interest match between the user and their friends.

Challenges we ran into

Before the Hackathon, we had never used Amazon Echo or Alexa Skills. We spent a lot of time understanding the mechanism of Amazon Echo. Luckily we figured that out. When we were trying to pull the friend list from Facebook after several hours, we found that Facebook no longer provide pulling friend list directly. Luckily, we figured ways to get around with it by looking at the user's photos and the user's tagged photos. From those photo nodes we can pull the relevant profiles. Since if two people are in the same photo, they are possibly close friends.

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