Inspiration/What it does
Remember the last time you went on a family vacation or spent quality time with friends at ECP. Your memories are often tied to the special place where it is created, yet we rarely notice how our physical context informs these memories and human interactions.
PennyPigeon enables the sending and receiving of private messages and images from your family and friends at physical locations. These private messages can only be uncovered and read at the physical location. Bringing an adventurous twist to social interaction.
- Leave a message at a special place for the special someone
- Save a message/photo somewhere for your future self to uncover
- Organize events that involve location-based movement/activities
- Travelling? Snap a picture and leave it at a location for your friends to stumble upon when they visit themselves.
The possibilities are endless.
At a time where people cannot meet physically, it becomes apparent how WHERE is as important as WHAT when it comes to creating memorable experiences.
In this project, we wanted to recapture the magic of creating new and reliving the old in a physical space- breathing life into a world of exploration in spite of the difficulties brought on by COVID-19.
How we built it
We used Python to build the Telegram bot, with Firebase RTDB and Storage to facilitate the storing of messages and image files. Deployed to Heroku.
Challenges we ran into
One of our main challenges was at the conception of the idea. We knew that we wanted to do something related to human interactions as it is close to the heart. However, boiling down what made our memories memorable was a harder task than it is on paper.
To overcome this, we brainstormed and found a common thread that connects our fondest memories together- place. How do we bring social interaction, during COVID and post COVID, to the next level? How will the importance of ‘place’ inform our product?
Accomplishments that we’re proud of
Our exploration and examination of why our memories were special to us How we were able to build our initial concept on top of the widely used Telegram platform
What we learned
Don’t simply pass on ideas that sound too simple. Our simple idea led us to discovering cool new ways of saving memories and accessing memories- creating new ways to interact with our loved ones.
What’s next for PennyPigeon
We hope to grow the community of Pigeon Fanciers (what we call our users), allowing them to go on creating special memories all around the world with others. For now, we are using Telegram as the initial MVP to test out our idea and also receive feedback about our service. However, given the limitations of using a third-party like Telegram to host our service, we are also considering developing our own native application and adding new features like leaving a message for anyone at a location.
We truly believe we were able to recapture a bit of that spark people experience when they walk past that coffee shop where they first met the girl of their dreams, or that birthday surprise at the local park, with Penny the Pigeon. Hopefully, it can also be the platform where others can create and save these memories too.
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