Came to hackathon with intend to relaunch old project, but because we couldn't use our logo, we decided to do something different. Had some ideas along location based communication, but wanted to do voice. Talking to Sinch and Firebase, seemed it was a hard solutions to dynamically do a unique conference call (radio channel) for every user who had a unique location and desired radius. Could have people at the edge of someone's radius talk to someone who is outside of the radius. Could be weird, which Sinch pointed out.
Also, talking to Firebase team, it would have been technically very difficult to do as well.
The idea of using neighborhoods solved the user experience issue. That was Friday. We came up with the name and basic functionality. Registered the .com, .club, and twitter handle.
What it does
Allows users that are geofenced in a neighborhood to talk on an open voice channel. Current version is open, future version could require mail address verification (PG&E bill) to join neighborhood club.
User can always listen, needs to hold down button to talk.
How we built it
We used Sinch for the VOIP conference call, using ESRI to get reverse geolocation data for neighborhood. Firebase to track specific locations of users, keep tabs on who is talking.
Challenges we ran into
Getting location to work on the iPhone (forgot to add a silly info.plist entry, a rookie move). Finding polygon data for neighborhoods.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
1.) We got the voice channel to work.
2.) Coming up with a MVP which collapsed the complexity of the project.
What we learned
About map data such as polygons for neighborhoods, county, zip code, political districts.
What's next for PartyHeer
We are super excited about this project and we will make significant improvements in the coming days / weeks.
1) Allow users to zoom out and join city/county/state(?) channels, break those up by topic, i.e. ride sharing, looking for housing, gigs, dating, etc.
2) When users speak, add pulse like animation to users on map
3) provide several stages of authentication: open, login required, address verification, background checks (?)
4) Web based version, Android
5) Allow remote viewing
6) Might change the product name
7) need to discover neighborhood or local regional polygon coordinates database, national and international.
8) Allow calls to run in background, and detect someone talking and send to speaker intermittently like Google Maps directions.
9) Enable user to turn service on/off based on geofencing (coming/leaving into neighborhood) and or time.