Our team noticed that upon coming to university, lots of people lose things very easily. Whether it be keys, wallets, or student cards; someone is always missing them. This results in lots of posts being made in our university Facebook page. The problem with using Facebook as a platform for retrieving lost items is due to the constant stream of posts, your post will quickly get washed away and be left likely unnoticed the people who need to see it. So with this we decided to create Lost & Found, a mobile app that reduces the clutter and provides a clean and concise platform for students to reunite with their lost items.
What it does
How Lost & Found works is that any student associated with a specific University is able to create a "found" or "lost" post. A "found" post is for anyone that finds an item that they believed was misplaced and a "lost" post is for individuals that loose something and or looking to see if someone has found it. Lost & Found allows users to post the location and contact information to easily connect users that find items with the users that have lost them. Each post also allows the inclusion of descriptor tags to help describe the item lost.
How we built it
Lost & Found is an android-based app that takes in post requests and stores the information in a firebase server. The app also allows users to upload images of the objects and Lost & Found utilizes IBM-Watson's Visual Recognition API to help users find descriptors of the object in question. Once the information is stored, users are able to search through posts based on tags to help easily find their lost items.
Challenges we ran into
Unfortunately the firebase server slowed down the speed of the app quite considerably so we were required to compress the images down and limit the number of posts stored in the prototype. Another large challenge is that we came across was git would occasionally not behave the way we expected to and this made it more difficult to collaborate effectively and merge our code.
What we learned
For many of us we were quite inexperienced with aspects of our project such as android development or working on services such as git. This project allowed us to explore these topics further and develop our skills in them.'
What's next for Lost & Found
Ultimately we would like to be able to partner with school apps or portals to create a seamless transition for students to begin posting using Lost & Found. By partnering with schools we are able to reach a large demographic or people which will further improve the product as we will gain more active users.