What inspired us was the clear need to help people still feel connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. After a whole year of isolation and a decrease in use of our in-person interpersonal skills, the need to still feel connected to people is as prevalent as ever. We want to provide people in work settings or school settings to be able to take a break whenever they can and find a way to stay connected to their fellow classmates or colleagues without the stress of thinking about the work they need to do.

What it does

"Stay Connected" is an artificial intelligence based website that allows people to virtually come together and do mindfulness practices, physical exercises, or fun icebreakers together by providing either guided videos or instructions on different types of ice breaker games.

How we built it

We designed a website using HTML and CSS. Then, we implemented the random video selection and icebreaker functionality using Javascript. To increase efficiency, the website gives users the option to upload a screenshot of zoom participants’ name list taken from the zoom meeting. Tesseract API was used to recognize the texts on images and filter out only names. The image processing was done on an express app. Express framework was used to handle http requests for our website. Ajax was also used to send and retrieve data from a JSON file and perform the required actions. In addition, the JavaScript Fetch API was used to get data from other file types.

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge was finding a way for all of us to come together and find times to meet. Our team of 3 is spread out between three different time zones with a 10-hour time difference.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of the functionality of the website, the aesthetic, and the research done to provide the content for the website.

What we learned

We learned a lot about web development technologies, particularly how HTML, CSS, and Javascript work together to put together a website. We also learned about new technologies like Tesseract, Express and different File manipulation APIs.

What's next for Stay Connected

The next thing for "Stay Connected" is to give users the opportunity to make their own accounts so that they can make their own lobbies with those that they regularly work with or play with. We would also like to improve the UI of the entire site, since we focused on the actual functionality during this hackathon.

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