One of our team members was hungry. That's pretty much all we know about the origins of this idea.
What it does
After asking for a user's preferences, the app automatically looks at nearby open restaurants that might match the user's tastes and ranks them using our home-grown algorithm. Restaurant information is then shown to the user, with the ones more lined up to the user's tastes coming on top. After the initial setup, everytime the user opens the app they will immediately see a list of restaurants matching their preferences, with the best matches on top. Users can get a quick glance at restaurant information or dive in deeper to view more information, maps, and even get directions. Users can also beam overviews of the top matching restaurants to their Pebble watch in order for quicker access.
How we built it
Open Now is an android application with a Pebble watch extension. It is built on top of both the Yelp and Google Places APIs. Open Now would not have been possible without the great folks over at Stack Overflow.
Challenges we ran into
There were two recurring themes to the problems that we encountered throughout the development of Open Now: Android Studio issues and API issues. Though there were issues in writing the app code as well, those - for the most part - were resolved quickly. Android Studio had a tendency to break the project every time someone decided to pull in the latest commit, which resulted in spending a lot of hours of fixing the project files.
There were also issues in properly integrating the Yelp and Google Places API into the app. Since Yelp does not release certain information to API users, it was impossible to get all the data we wanted to show the user from one source. For that reason we had to come up with a way for the Yelp API to talk with the Google Places API, which had the rest of the information we wanted.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
The accomplishment that we are proud of most is that we were able to put together a product that we are satisfied with, especially considering how unfamiliar some of us were with the technologies we decided to use. Developing basic smartwatch features was also very satisfying.
What we learned
We learned a lot of new technologies throughout the course of Hack AZ, as well as how we could creatively apply them in order to make what we want. We also learned a lot about time management and effective task delegation as we constantly shifted and added requirements.