People want to make a difference in the world, but where do they get started? How can they make a difference if they're stuck at home due to a pandemic or natural disaster? Our inspiration draws from people who feel like their hands are tied. They have the desire to do something meaningful for the world and themselves, but they're not connected to the right resources.

What it does

PowerStation connects people to those resources they need to make a difference. PowerStation is a central hub for the tools you need to have power in your own home. It has three main objectives: educating, providing a global platform for change, and providing you with the tools to manage your home and vehicle.

Educating: PowerStation's Learning Library module gives users the ability to learn never-stagnant world-class content. Every course in PowerStation's Learning Library revolves around a global topic of issue, such as Conservation, languages, world cultures, and staying healthy. Every day, each course updates with the latest, most relevant, and most viewed content of the day. This ensures that you never get bored with what you're learning. In addition, the Library places a big emphasis on recycling and using what you can around the house to build useful crafts for the home. For example, today the Learning Library's "Crafting with Corrugated Material" course generated a YouTube video with 1.7million views demonstrating how to build a sturdy shelf out of corrugated material. You could view this course every day, and get a different idea every single time on how to utilize the corrugated material you've got around your home. You'd never run out of ideas for Do-it-yourself crafts to make for your home and garden!

The Learning Library serves to give users a foundation in global topics. This is meant to empower them to make a change, which they can do using our next tool:

A global platform for change: After you've learned about worldwide topics from the Learning Library, you may have some ideas of your own to solve these global problems. You can submit your ideas in the PowerStation Think Tank. The Think Tank contains worldwide problems being faced every day. You can select a problem you're passionate about, and submit ideas on how to solve that problem. The Think Tank uses Natural Language Processing to translate submissions from up to 20 different languages. What that means is: now you can read and learn from the ideas of people around the world! And they can learn from your ideas too. The Natural Language Processing also allows Think Tank to automatically flag and remove hateful or vulgar submissions. You can upvote the ideas you feel are most impactful; the most voted ideas rise to the top of each Think Tank problem's Incubator. Every week, a email can be generated to the science organizations of the world containing these young people's brilliant ideas.

Users can take what they've learned from the Learning Library, and apply that to the Think Tank. Your vote allow you to support and empower your peers around the world!

Tools to Manage your life PowerStation's Customer Portal connects to the Internet of Things. For example, StateFarm currently uses drone technology to assess damage after large natural disasters. In partnership with StateFarm, PowerStation can connect to their visual feed to perform a damage assessment, and automatically alert your StateFarm agent as well as you, whenever damage to your home or vehicle has been recorded. That means that you never even have to step outside after a natural disaster, which could potentially place your in danger. But instead, you can be made aware of any damages to your home or vehicle while sitting safely inside your home.

This allows SateFarm and other large companies to deliver excellent customer service. Alerts are immediate, and there is no need for you or a StateFarm representative to investigate a damage. It's what keeps everyone safe while still managing the risks.

Link to PowerStation demo:

How I built it


Xcode 9.4.1

On iOS 11.4

On an iPhone 8plus

Using Google Custom Search API

Natural Language Processing class in Swift

ML Kit for Translations

Challenges I ran into

UI Challenges I forgot a lot of the UI concepts in Xcode/Swift, so I had a hard time getting my objects aligned or in the proper dimensions in the view.

I also ran into the challenge of having a lot of stuff to explain and not enough time to do it in the video, so I sped up the video by 12% which caused my voice to sound a little higher than normal...

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am so happy that I was able to do the entire application by myself! I am also happy that I was able to design certain parts of the app the way I did, for example: the Learning Library. I absolutely loved the way the Learning Library turned out, and given that I don't have a lot of design experience and that I faced so many issues with the UI, I thought it turned out great.

What I learned

There were so many Xcode/Swift specific things I learned over the weekend, for example: 1) how to trigger an alert, 2) how to customize tab bar items, how to create a collection view, how to push a segue from an alert button, how to cause an embedded UITableView's cell to float to the top when you a click a button on it, the list goes on...

What's next for PowerStation

Next would be getting more collaborating with StateFarm and other large companies to be able to manage your accounts all in one central place without having to step outside. I mocked what it would have looked like if I had access to StateFarm's drone data or connected to some kind of StateFarm API, but none like that currently exists. Additionally, the next step for PowerStation would be a UI overhaul. I also would love to have more courses in the Learning Library and more Think Tank Incubators for people to engage with.

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