Inspiration: We wanted to create a whole new way for students to interact with the amazing school we have and to aid in establishing an even stronger connection between students and faculty. For the Hackathon, we decided to curate our first run of Mobievent towards the Student Union. We decided on three top features out of the countless possibilities. With Mobievent we, in the future can see this being used not only for schools but for hotels, airports, sports arenas, and even the ability to track people down in emergency situations. This is something that can make a huge difference in the way people go about their day. The inspiration comes from the passion of wanting to make a difference and create a new level of personal interaction with environments.
What it does:
We developed a system that uses iBeacon technology (Bluetooth 4.0 + Raspberry Pi's) to allow for an IPS (Indoor Positioning System) to be used throughout school. Sure the technology exists but it stumped us as to why we hadn't seen anyone doing what we aim to do. Due to time constraints with such a huge vision, we focused on three points in the Student Union for this weekend. The first feature we thought would have a big impact on the student body is automating the textbook system. The vision is, iBeacons are placed at the front of the Bookstore. UAccess is fully integrated is the main hub for students and textbooks there When a student walks by, they are picked up by the beacon and are sent a notification that asks if they'd like to reserve their textbooks. Their textbook lists are then accessed and pulled from the UAccess database and The students then select the textbooks he/she wants and that is then sent downstairs via a request on internal computers to begin the process of pulling the books. The user is sent a time as to how long it will take (calculated based on how many reservations) and they can then use the indoor mapping system to locate supplies or apparel they may need which can help cut the time and keep it as consistent as possible. The second space we planned for was the good ol' classroom. The student walks through a beacon outfitted class and is checked in for their attendance. The professor can then check the attendance to double check, just in case someone does not have a smartphone. The app, now being recognized as in a classroom, shifts to 3 options. Attendance, an app wide UAccess tab, and now a clicker integrated into it. No need to spend $100 on a dinky clicker!!!! If a student who is not registered for that class walks in, they will receive a notification they are in the wrong room and have the option of being routed in the case of them getting lost. The teacher is also notified of the student for safety purposes as well as academic integrity purposes. The third is an option for a map that will be on every "live-page" What I mean by this is since the beacons have amazing accuracy, when you are near Mckale Center the U of A app will have its app wide features as well as some that are only available by Mckale. This includes taking the classes option, moving it to a non central-focused space and replace it with a news and tickets interface. The map is the main hub for this school and this experience. This is just a sliver of the amazing concepts our group has come up with in just 36 hours.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into:
- getting the server running but was aided by a mentor from Google to get it going.
- Creating a decent looking rapid prototype on an iPad (Self-Challenge) with no experience with the app.
- Learning python, Rest architecture, JSON.
- Realized we can't outfit the entire school.
- Figuring workarounds for interferences.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Our team and every other team
- Learned from scratch and made a pretty sweet UI rapid prototype, fully on the iPad.
- The way all of our collaborative ideas easily molded into one enormous vision.
- Getting the database to work with Python.
- Taking a new technology that 2 out of 4 of us knew nothing about and learning about them.
- Discovering the insane amount of ways this can be used and developing a mutual passion in just days!
What we learned
- Sleep who?
- My brain as well as my teammates are literally so tired writing this, it was near impossible for us to list anything because there was such an endless amount of things to list that we had learned.
What's next for Mobievent
- Well! with the bond we developed over the weekend we all realized we make an amazing team. Not due to skill but to how well we were able to communicate with each other. We decided to continue to work on Mobievent after the hackathon and are insanely excited to keep moving. We are in the process in filing for a trademark as i type this for a term we would like to use that really captures what we want to do and why we want to do it! The synergy we had as a group is what makes us a great team.