RealTalk was inspired by those moments when you look around a sea of people all plugged into their phones and you die a little inside.
NYC is among the most populous and diverse cities in the world, so why is it so easy to feel isolated? In theory cell phones make us more connected than ever, but in practice this isn't always the case. With these challenges in mind, is it possible for an app to make the city friendlier?
What it does
RealTalk is the short-range social app thats immediately actionable! The app sends a notification when another nearby user (within 50 feet or so) has a shared a conversational interest, so you skip the small talk and have a real interaction. Whether you take the conversation anywhere afterward or just go on your way is up to you.
Before you opt in to meeting face to face, RealTalk allows you to test the waters by chatting anonymously over the app. Safety first!
Example use cases: parks, bus stops, subway platforms, waiting rooms, bars, and classrooms.
How we built it
RealTalk is a mobile application built primarily with React Native (a native iOS app is also being prototyped for comparison) served by Firebase.
Challenges we ran into
Time! We budgeted too much time for ideation and planning and didn't account for the technical hiccups of setting up our team workflow and tools.
Additionally, none of our team members had used React Native or Firebase before and learning new frameworks is always a challenge.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our team of four is running three different operating systems and two different mobile platforms - the fact that we were able to get our workflow to a comfortable state feels like a minor miracle! (which we mostly attribute to the React Native itself and the Expo toolchain). No git conflicts either!
What we learned
Related to the above, React is awesome! We're excited that we have a bit of experience with it now and are looking forward to learning more. Reading about the design paradigms behind React (such as the flow of data via Flux) will absolutely inform our future projects. The Expo toolchain makes development really fast and fun.
What's next for RealTalk
Finish the app! We feel like after 48 hours, we're finally _ starting _ to pick up momentum.