The idea came to us after a long journey on the bus. We were struggling to find a good secure network and there was no chance of collaborating with the people on the bus unless someone burned through their mobile data. We also were worried about the security on the public wifi and preferred a way that was more secure. When I heard about Apple's multipeer technology, it checked all the boxes and allowed us to communicate with each other locally, share power and even share the resources we had.
What it does
It is an offline close cloud for iOS devices. It is set up to provide help to each device in the network by sharing the computing resources. Complex problems? Well happy to help. Our app primarily deals with long complex image manipulation and encourages other people in the network to share the workload and send everything back to the original website. This technology can be leveraged for a very secure communication locally without the worry of cloud security. Everything is cleared as soon as the device exits the network.
How I built it
I ran the idea by Steve Mandala, my friend about a secure p2p local off the grid cloud storage solution. We realized that this idea was pretty close to already existing Airdrop in macs. However, the feature to have a shared network made us pivot to do what we really had never done. Sharing of tech resources. We started with the multipeer technology at the heart of the app. With a lot of coreAnimation, CGImage, and UIImage processing, we made a network to spread across a large data set and perform individual operations. Eventually, getting everything back to the owner.
Challenges I ran into
One of the teammate had not worked with iOS or mobile technology at all prior to this hackathon. Multipeer was a challenge to deal with specially because of the JSON packaging issues we had (Base64Encoding going wrong). Another BIG area we struggled with was to optimize the division of file to make sure it was working in proper times.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We completed everything that we wanted to and had an amazing learning experience for everything. We made an amazing iOS app that has challenged us to use everything we knew and beyond. We had tough moments but still we managed to get through troubles. Massive shoutout to the entire Apple Team for their amazing patience and help.
What I learned
Packaging of data over networks and using a lot of animations, and graphics commands that we had not done before. We also made fluid and streamlined app which was a challenge but was super fun. Diving deeper into iOS frameworks also opened a whole new world of technology we didnt know existed. Working with this technology was a steep learning curve in itself but learning to use new technology was the best reward!
What's next for Off Grid
We would like to extend the storage and p2p data sharing capabilities of a shared cloud, particularly in organizing files among local groups of family or even strangers. Yet maintaining the focus on the safety benefits attached to the app! We want to help leverage the amazing off internet network to utilize data in a better way at places where internet is not a real luxury! The "local mesh network" has enormous applications for local secure methods for file sharing, communication, and even transactions, and seamlessly distributing computational power is at the heart of this.