https://github.com/esouthren/sting-

Inspiration

The year 2050: Our reliance on connectivity, and the availability of it, is a double-edged sword. What if data connection services were targeted as a means to disrupt methods of communication?

It's important to have other avenues of communication, and other ways to access the internet.

What it does

STING allows you to connect to vital internet services via your smartphone's SMS service, without an internet connection.

We have a core SMS service which will run on any phone capable of sending/receiving texts.

There is also an android app with a graphical interface to display this data.

STING can:

  • Give directions from A to B
  • Translate a phrase into X language
  • Give the weather conditions for any City
  • Lighten the mood with a joke

Want to try it out? Send one of these to +44 1344 567 584:

Directions {walking|bicyling|driving|transit} *address1* to *address2*" e.g. "Directions walking 11 the Croft, Didcot to 50 Roding Way, Didcot"

Translate *language* *phrase* e.g. "Translate dutch have a great hackathon!"

Weather *City*\ *State or Country*\ e.g. "Weather Eindhoven, Netherlands"

Joke e.g. "joke"

How we built it

We used Twilio to create an SMS-listening service that accepts user's text messages and returns a response.

We created a localhost server to wait for the SMS message to be received by Twilio. A Java script parses the SMS content and applies the correct function or returns an error.

An android app allows the user to send/receive the messages from a graphical interface.

Challenges we ran into

We initially wanted to create an SMS-based browser in order to access all information on the internet. However, websites are tricky to compress down to SMS-size! So we chose some core features that we thought would be most useful in an emergency situation (like how to get somewhere), as a proof of concept.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We have created a service that we feel has a genuine use for future society - protecting communication services and allowing people to still access information in case of extreme events.

What we learned

  • How to use Twilio
  • Building apps in Android Studio
  • Using IntelliJ for Java Web applications with Spark
  • Creating an ngrok localhost server

What's next for STING

We could add more features such as news headlines, contacting loved ones in case of emergency, or mini wikipedia articles.

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