We found that some people who were affected by the disasters in Texas,Florida, and Puerto Rico to have trouble accessing family members and friends. We realized that often many people are in a situation in which communication can be severely limited at the most inopportune moments. Furthermore many may also not have internet access while sms is working fine and vice versa. While the issue of connectivity cannot be fully addressed in a 24 hour hackathon we decided to address this issue even in part with our project.
What it does
What we do is help connect users who have sms/mms capability to the rest of the world wide web. Users can text our service at (469)778-4828 and can receive weather alerts, turn-by-turn directions, and advance q/a capabilities.
How we built it
We created a twilio server on heroku which interacts with users. We used google-maps api, dark-sky api, and the wolframalpha api to reply to user requests.
Challenges we ran into
We were unable to implement natural language processing that would take account misspelling and badly-formed queries. We also found that security was a big concern both the integrity of our application.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are excited that we have our initial goals completed and that we were able to implement at least some of the technology that we had planned but we hope to add it soon. We are also happy that we didnt lose all of our data when merging with git
What we learned
We learned to deploy services onto heroku using the CLI; we are also happy to be able to leverage the powerful twilio api.
What's next for SMS of Things
Our plan is to next internationalize our system so that anybody around the world will be able to find our service easy to use. We also plan on applying natural language processing to react to queries more organically than ever before.