Inspiration

Save the World is a mobile app meant to promote sustainable practices, one task at a time.

What it does

Users begin with a colorless Earth prominently displayed on their screens, along with a list of possible tasks. After completing a sustainable task, such as saying no to a straw at a restaurant, users obtain points towards their goal of saving this empty world. As points are earned and users level up, they receive lively stickers to add to their world. Suggestions for activities are given based on the time of day. They can also connect with their friends to compete for the best scores and sustainability. Both the fun stickers and friendly competition encourage heightened sustainability practices from all users!

How I built it

Our team created an iOS app with Swift. For the backend of tasks and users, we utilized a Firebase database. To connect these two, we utilized CocoaPods.

Challenges I ran into

Half of our team had not used iOS before this Hackathon. We worked together to get past this learning curve and all contribute to the app. Additionally, we created a setup in Xcode for the wrong type of database at first. At that point, we made a decision to change the Xcode setup instead of creating a different database. Finally, we found that it is difficult to use CocoaPods in conjunction with Github, because every computer needs to do the pod init anyway. We carefully worked through this issue along with several other merge conflicts.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are proud of our ability to work as a team even with the majority of our members having limited Xcode experience. We are also excited that we delivered a functional app with almost all of the features we had hoped to complete. We had some other project ideas at the beginning but decided they did not have a high enough challenge factor; the ambition worked out and we are excited about what we produced.

What I learned

We learned that it is important to triage which tasks should be attempted first. We attempted to prioritize the most important app functions and leave some of the fun features for the end. It was often tempting to try to work on exciting UI or other finishing touches, but having a strong project foundation was important. We also learned to continue to work hard even when the due date seemed far away. The first several hours were just as important as the final minutes of development.

What's next for Save the World

Save the World has some wonderful features that could be implemented after this hackathon. For instance, the social aspect could be extended to give users more points if they meet up to do a task together. There could also be be forums for sustainability blog posts from users and chat areas. Additionally, the app could recommend personal tasks for users and start to “learn” their schedule and most-completed tasks.

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