We wanted to make an app that helps anyone using ride-sharing, have the ability to easily give out information regarding their ride. We based this off of our experiences when we would ask our friends to let us know if they got home safely, but occasionally they’d forget. So, we wanted to make an app that makes it easier for them to give out and provide more information about where they will be, while also giving them the option to notify certain individuals of emergencies.

Because a portion of our app includes emergency notifications, we wanted the general UI of the app to appear discreet about this aspect of it. This is also the reason why we named our app "Knight Owl," because it plays off our night theme, while subtly hinting at the fact that this app can be very helpful.

What it does

Knight Owl works with one mode of transportation (Lyft). It allows users to fill out information about their trip, which would be their current location and ending destination. They can also provide the name of their Lyft driver and the license plate of the car they are riding in. When the user starts their trip, reaches their destination, or run into a problem, trusted individuals are notified through text messages.

How we built it

We build it using Java, Android Studio, and SMS Manager. For the UI, we used Adobe Illustrator and Adobe XD.

Challenges we ran into

We had difficulty setting up the text messaging alerts that would notifying the user's selected recipients. We attempted to use Twilio’s API to send SMS messages to our phones but it was very time consuming and we were unable to download Ngrok and figure out how other applications such as Spark and IntelliJ work together to send texts through Twilio. After many hours of research and trial and error, we were finally able to send text messages through SMS Manager. Additionally, none of us had experience with Android so we had to learn about the ins and outs of Android studio.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We built a functioning Android app and were able to learn about Android, despite having no experience with it. We are also proud of our User Interface that was created entirely from scratch, as it has been very pleasing to people who have seen it so far.

What we learned

We learned about constraints on Android and how to make interactive buttons and new activities. We also learned how to input images and backgrounds into Android Studio. We learned how to successfully navigate between Android Studio and Adobe programs to link application functionality to graphical design.

What's next for Knight Owl

In the future, we’re thinking of implementing a location tracking feature that allows friends and family members to see users’ locations in real time and sync with the ride sharing application being used so users won’t have to input details about their ride. Furthermore, to make it easier to start a trip, the application may possibly include the functionality for users to create labels for locations they frequent (eg. work, home, etc). We would also like to include other modes of transportation, not just ride-sharing apps. After further implementing other useful functionalities, we hope to improve user experience and scope by redesigning the application for flexibility and efficiency of use and by making the application compatible with multiple phone OS’s. One more useful feature we would want to add in the future is that if the user doesn't signal their safe arrival in the estimated time their trip would take, their friends would be notified.

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