I was at a Halloween last weekend and just had no service or anything. It was a real nightmare to just look anything up. This got me thinking, surely there must be a way to get around this.. I had full service just no mobile data.
What it does
ihavenointernet is an app that allows you to text a server with request for directions to anywhere you want through any form of transport.
How we built it
Our app makes use of the Nexmo SMS API to connect to our server. We grab the users current GPS location and latch it to the text message which we then direct over to the google-places API to find the address of what they've requested such as the nearest pub or the nearest bus stop. We then take that address and send it over to the google-directions API which provides us with a list of instructions to get to where the user is heading, which we of course text back to them.
Challenges we ran into
As we are primarily PHP developers, we decided to use the Nexmo PHP api. Which isn't the clearest of API's out there. We had a lot of issues attempting to set this up on our server and struggled to actually get responses. It turned out that on top of this our hosting didn't support the use of cURL or anything simillar without upgrading our package. However we was able to overcome this and produce a working product
Accomplishments that we're proud of
For two of us, it was our first hackathon so we are quite proud of what we was able to produce in such a short time frame. Plus it actually works! We're really impressed with the Nexmo API and are glad of what we created and we are really looking forward to seeing what else we can create with it in the future.
What we learned
We learnt a lot about Nexmo as well as a more in depth look at the Google cloud services compared to past experience. We also learnt a lot more about hosting and setting up a server in terms of modifying it for our needs.
What's next for ihavenointernet
We will be looking into continuing the project to give better directions and also looking at allowing for general questions and queries to be available similar to the google cards.