We wanted to create a unique messaging platform that could bring various communities in each region under one platform. Moreover, one of our team members was greatly affected by Hurricane Harvey, so we wanted to incorporate a system that could help mitigate the damage from future natural disasters.

What it does

Sure Talk create chat boxes based on regions and user tags. Each city has a default forum where users can communicate with others in the city. Users can also create their own public chat boxes that others can see and join. The home page sorts the chat boxes based on the amount of people in each box, greatest to least. In the case of a natural disaster, the program automatically detects the disaster and creates a special chat box with top-priority called EMERGENCY that allows others to share information in order to get help and inform others.The app initially collects the user's name, age, and sex (though this information is never shared in general public chats) as well as a username and password. Then, the user can join, switch, or create chat boxes anytime. When a person enters a chat box, they receive only texts they have not read.

How we built it

It is a mobile app developed with the React Native framework. We used Node.js and used JavaScript to develop both the frontend and backend. Our database that stored the messages and chat boxes was MongoDB. Location data (latitude and longitude) was translated into the nearest city through Google Maps API. Similarly, location data was also used to get the current weather of the area through Open Weather API.

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge we ran into was implementing the app in Android. While we were able to successfully create users, join and create chat boxes, get weather and location information, and send messages in chat boxes in ios, we were only able to successfully login on Android.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This was our first Hackathon for our entire group, so we were proud that we were able to implement all of our ideas for the app within the time frame

What we learned

We learned a lot about team management and utilizing tools like Slack and Trello to manage our workflow as well as general programming knowledge, various APIS, and MongoDB.

What's next for Sure Talk

Heavily improving the UI Adding a dark mode Making authentication and user data more secure Create private chat boxes that require a key to enter Send emergency information to first responders.

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