Inspiration - We were inspired to provide up to date voter information to US voters. What inspired us was a story about false voter information being spread around to lower income communities. We wanted to create a SMS chat box specifically, because it is not guaranteed every household has technology. However most people have some sort of phone, whether it is a smartphone or not.
What it does - The SAP iXp Vote Bot is simple. You text the number, then the bot will ask you to provide your zip code. The bot then responds to the user with "Where to apply for absentee ballot", "Deadline to request application", "Early in person voting date", and "Mail ballot deadline", all based on the users zip code.
How I built it - Unfortunately, we did not get a live working model. We tried various methods to try and get the vote bot working. For the most part, we were able to get the chat bot to do basic chat functions, like an initial greeting message. However, we did not find a way to connect the chat bot with live data or an API with the information we wanted.
Challenges I ran into - We ran into quite a few issues! We were having trouble using Twilio functions to connect to our original excel data. Additionally, I tried to use a service called Hybrid Chat to supplement our lack of Twilio functionality. However, despite logging a ticket to one of the exceptional mentors, I could not get the chatbot to work! It was quite frustrating but we did not give up. Ultimately, we attempted to use a Google API connected to our Twilio account.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of - Attempting to create a chatbot for lower-income communities via SMS is something we will forever be proud of. We love giving back to the community and using technology as the method was fulfilling. This could easily reach a large group of people and it could be helpful. In addition I am thankful I got to work with other SAP interns and learn from them.
What I learned - I learned a lot about Twilio and it was quite fascinating. I was always curious about the technical side to SMS marketing, and it was great to get hands-on exposure. In addition, I learned about a website called Figma.com, for prototyping products. Everything I learned I will be taking back and sharing with my team. I hope the other interns on my team join me next time!
What's next for SAP iXp Vote Bot - I definitely will be working this bot to see if I am able to get a working model. I think with more time and a bit more research, this is something feasible! :)