Inspiration 209 An estimated 1.6 to 1.7 million youth join the ranks of runaways and the homeless each year, and many of them are foster youth who are leaving the foster care system.(1) Even without the threat of homelessness, foster youth often are transferred from homes and must adapt to new places and situations quickly. Charities like Rack Gives Back, the philanthropic branch of Rackspace, are aiming to grant these youth the with free cellphones. (1) The problem however is that most of these youth would lack a data plan, so the benefits of the phone such as location services, maps and google searches are not available when the youth are without wifi.
1.6 to 1.7 million youth become homeless or spend time homeless.(1) Some of the biggest charities related to foster care have begun campaigns to provide youth with smartphone technology.(2)
1.Burt, M. Understanding Homeless Youth: Numbers, Characteristics, Multi-system Involvement, and Intervention Options, Testimony Given before the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, June 19, 2007. 2007. Urban Institute. Accessed Aug. 11, 2009 from http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/901087_Burt_Homeless.pdf
What it does
The recall ios app allows for the foster youth to make phone calls, set timed automated calls, and schedule calls while connected to wifi. Through the use of Twilio, they can not only have access to call when the foster youth may not have a minute plan, the app gives the youth control, to find where that job interview is or how to make their way home when their lost. We created recall as an effort to allow youth to phone their emergency contacts, receive a fake call that could enable them to extract themselves from an unfavorable situation. The app also has an emergency button that can dial 911 if the situation escalates.
How we built it
We built it through Xamarin and by using parallel on the laptops capable of handling the program’s RAM. On the front end we used a phone simulator (proto.io) to design the buttons and graphics then remade them in Xamarin’s design studio.
Challenges we ran into
We struggled with cross-platform compatibilty.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to execute the app through xamarin and eport to the iphone, but beyond that we were able to create a prototype in proto.io and a version of the offline and a version of the virtual assistant that are hosted locally. We will now be able to refine these into a working final product and bridge our back end that we coded out to our front end.
What we learned
Did: Researched, UI , logo, Brew, .Net Core, repository in Github, proto.io, careful planning during agile development, Twilio, Xamarin framework, Visual Studio, and Parallels.
Mastered: C#, Github, Slack, Trello, Terminal branching with Github, Mapbox basics, XCode Learning: Twilio’s API, Xamarin and Xamarin’s design interface. Needs: Connection of the backend to front end.
What's next for Recall
We would like to refine the app, so that integration Twilio is seamless. We would also like to focus on keeping the data load in the phone small, so that youth would be able to use it even if their phones did not have much internal memory.