Recently, security has come to the forefront of media with the events surrounding Equifax. We took that fear and distrust and decided to make something to secure and protect data such that only those who should have access to it actually do.
What it does
Our product encrypts QR codes such that, if scanned by someone who is not authorized to see them, they present an incomprehensible amalgamation of symbols. However, if scanned by someone with proper authority, they reveal the encrypted message inside.
How we built it
This was built using cloud functions and Firebase as our back end and a Native-react front end. The encryption algorithm was RSA and the QR scanning was open sourced.
Challenges we ran into
One major challenge we ran into was writing the back end cloud functions. Despite how easy and intuitive Google has tried to make it, it still took a lot of man hours of effort to get it operating the way we wanted it to. Additionally, making react-native compile and run on our computers was a huge challenge as every step of the way it seemed to want to fight us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're really proud of introducing encryption and security into this previously untapped market. Nobody to our kowledge has tried to encrypt QR codes before and being able to segment the data in this way is sure to change the way we look at QR.
What we learned
We learned a lot about Firebase. Before this hackathon, only one of us had any experience with Firebase and even that was minimal, however, by the end of this hackathon, all the members had some experience with Firebase and appreciate it a lot more for the technology that it is. A similar story can be said about react-native as that was another piece of technology that only a couple of us really knew how to use. Getting both of these technologies off the ground and making them work together, while not a gargantuan task, was certainly worthy of a project in and of itself let alone rolling cryptography into the mix.
What's next for SeQR Scanner and Generator
Next, if this gets some traction, is to try and sell this product on th marketplace. Particularly for corporations with, say, QR codes used for labelling boxes in a warehouse, such a technology would be really useful to prevent people from gainng unnecessary and possibly debiliatory information.