Connection when you need it most


218,350,000. That is the number of people that are affected every year by natural disasters, shocking right! What happens if you are trapped and trying to contact someone when both the cell towers and WiFi have been knocked out. How can we push connectivity in a small network like communities to ask for help, supplies, receive updates, etc? This is just one use case for our technology, but there are many others. How can we provide connection when people need it most?

What it does

We have created a solution. Shout is a secure p2p totally offline mobile app that requires no servers, no wifi, and no signal, purely operating using Bluetooth. Simply launch the app and connect to the network by activating your Bluetooth and message anyone on the network. Another feature is the announcements, where you can send an announcement to the whole network. Need help? Want to receive a notification when your flight gate is open? The possibilities are endless.

How we built it

We built it using App development. The main product in our case is an app that has a chat feature and a public announcement feature. In case of emergencies, people can send help requests as announcements, and all the users connected in the same LAN would be informed about the same. We used the Bluetooth APIs because the Android platform includes support for the Bluetooth network stack, which allows a device to wirelessly exchange data with other Bluetooth devices. Once someone nearby is ready to help the respective person they can just privately chat with them and do the needful.

Challenges we ran into

None of us had previously worked with Bluetooth and how Bluetooth chat actually works in apps. So this was a big challenge for us. We also had no prior experience of android development, with only an intermediate level of Java ability.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We knew coordination would be a challenge as we are an international team from 3 different continents and hence, 3 extremely different time zones. We stepped up to the challenge and made it work, by delegating each person with tasks of equal work, we managed to lower the workload all while keeping good communication all while being up to 7 hours apart. Another accomplishment we are proud of is the Bluetooth chat feature. This took a lot of effort but we ultimately made it work.

What we learned

We learned to work with Bluetooth APIs and how can we actually use the APIs along with Java to build a LAN (Local Area Network). We were also totally new to android development and one person had knowledge of p2p networks, so the learning curve was very steep to learn these key features.

What's next for Shout

The next big thing for shout is its endless application and uses over many places such as airports, stations, and even everyday use and also we will be having the App ready for iOS support too. The possibilities for Shout is endless!

Message Michael Beer#7583 for any questions! -

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