Pal Finder is a standalone Pebble Smartwatch app that helps students to find companions for accomplishing their personal and academic goals.
Over 28% high school students have either felt lonely or depressed in the last year. This is mainly because of them feeling detached from their peers and not having someone to speak with. Having someone to share their thoughts and learn new things will drastically improve every student's mental health.
Students are also having a hard time finding companions for activities like studying for a test or playing a sport during the time they need. That's why we as a team wanted to build a user friendly, non-intrusive solution to solve this problem during the Hackathon. Pebble is one of the best as well as the least intrusive smartwatches in the market. That's why we chose Pebble as our platform.
What it does
Load the PalFinder app on your Pebble smartwatch and choose your interest. Then walk around! If you run into someone with the same interest, the watch vibrates. This helps you meet people with similar interests and encourages face to face interaction.
We also built a website where your location and interest is plotted as a marker on google maps. This helps you pinpoint another person with a similar interest and walk towards them or form larger groups based on interest.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Having designed and build for high resolution, large screen devices; It took us some time to adapt to Pebble's concise display and related UX elements. We wanted to build a companion mobile app but after accessing its usability, we decided to build a powerful standalone app. Testing the app has been a challenge and pebble's proprietary image format took some time to get used to.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We came with 4 different ideas for the Hackathon. We then debated, assessed and decided to work on two projects that we felt are worth pursuing. We are proud of our accomplishments designing, building and validating our projects in just two days. All of us worked on a platform not familiar for us and this helped us to learn new concepts. We had fun doing this.
What we learned
Designing and programming for Pebble. Working with a diverse team helped us compliment our skill sets. This has also been a great team building exercise.
What's next for Pal Finder
Enhancing the app features like allowing users to choose multiple interests and a custom radius. Improving the UI/UX of the app. We also plan to integrate various feature rich APIs to offer more features. We want Pal Finder to be an enabling tool for students to easily find companions to do what they like.
If you want to try it out, you can find the CloudPebble code at https://github.com/nikintharan/PF and the code for the website at https://github.com/soundninja/palfinder. The finished website is at http://www.palfinder.club