As students in the Covid-19 era, we find it hard to remain fully attentive throughout the entire duration of web lectures because we sit alone in our rooms and have no one around us to keep us accountable. It is also much easier to be distracted by other things at home. This is why we came up with the idea to create an app that will be able to notify us when important keywords (that are chosen by us) appear on our screen so that we know when we have to be attentive. This will surely help us to improve our productivity and is a good safety net which ensures that we do not miss out on important information during lessons.

What it does

Users input their chosen keywords as well as their desired stream URL into our website. They can then choose to view the notifications of when these keywords pop up in the stream through either our website or our telegram bot, or both. lookOut currently captures one frame of the video stream every 10 seconds (will be adjustable), and scans the frame to recognize words on it. If there is a match between the words found in the frame and the keywords chosen by the user, the user will be notified of the matched word as well as the timestamp at which the match occurred.

How I built it

We captured frames from the video stream through open-cv and pafy python libraries and used pytesseract to recognize words in the frames. Our website is hosted on heroku and was built using Flask. We also decided to implement a telegram bot as we believed that users would find the notifications useful.

Challenges I ran into

It was our first time using many of the above-mentioned python libraries so it was a challenge to familiarize with so much new content. We also ran into some problems that we did not see while trying to integrate our front end with our back end, such as having difficulty with dynamically updating the table of keyword popups on our website.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Despite it being our first hackathon, we managed to overcome many of the hurdles that we came across through creatively thinking of new solutions or by sourcing for alternatives without giving up.

What I learned

Every member of the group has an important part to play in piecing the project together. It is crucial for everyone to be in sync and to communicate effectively so that both front and back end can integrate well to create a functional and successful app.

What's next for lookOut

We hope to be able to incorporate support for Zoom and other video chatting apps so that lookOut can better cater to different groups of people such as office workers.

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