We were inspired by an app called 'Samaritan' that does similar work to what we wanted to achieve. As cash is being phased out of the lives of people, the homeless population of cities are being left behind. We wanted to give people a way to give to people without any friction as well as to help residents of a community connect on a more human level.
What it does
Allows the user to send money to a specific individual through their TD (wink wink) bank account. Homeless residents of a community are assigned 'beacons' which alert a user through bluetooth when they are in close proximity. The user can look through a profile to see what the person needs and allocate funds accordingly. These funds are sent directly through the app from their linked account to a central account hosted by a community centre partner. The homeless person is able to redeem these funds at a kiosk at this centre.
How we built it
We started by discussing issues in fintech/finance that resonated with us and bigger problems that we see in the world. Some big themes that came out of this were things like climate change, homelessness, shifting demographics, and a lot more. We decided to hone in on the homelessness problem and try to see what experiences in our lives could help us imagine a useful product. We then started building user stories, wireframes for product, and did some API testing to see what kind of data we could get back from the given set. After all of this, the rest is a blur.
Challenges we ran into
Thinking about how to deliver the product, connect donors to the intended donee, and how donee's would collect thier funds were all difficult problems to try solving. We had to pick a path and just start building, given our time constraints. Technically, we knew we had to essentially build two products, a kiosk to receive funds, and an app for the donor to use. This added complexity for sure!
Also, Alison is the better coder.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Staying on schedule
- Depth of research given our limits
- Working with other disciplines, diversity of thought, and working with new people. We did well and are proud of that.
What we learned
- Keep commiting code
- Merge WHEN YOU ARE TOGETHER
- Final commit to be made an hour ahead of time
- Communicate all the time
What's next for Rage Against the Machine Learning
- Find investors
- Build Beacon
- Another hackathon