Our inspiration came from a mixture of places, from Leo's undying need to converse with every stranger around him, to RIT's population of mostly awkward nerds. We saw an existing solution, Omegle, which randomizes video chat rooms and attempted to improve upon it in a chat form to fit the needs of RIT.

What it does

Connect2Me is a web-based randomized messaging application, where you are paired with another random user and given an ice-breaker question. This encourages both users to have a long-form conversation, and possibly become friends.

How we built it

Connect2Me is a web application utilizing a Flask server, sqlite database, and jinja frontend.

Challenges we ran into

Over the course of 26 hours, we ran into many challenges. Getting our Python virtual environments set up to start development proved to be harder than expected. The Python module flask_socketio didn't work for hours due to version compatibility issues.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

While it may have taken nearly the entire hackathon to get functioning, the core messaging part of the application is probably the achievement we are most proud of.

What we learned

Because this was the first hackathon for all of us, we learned how to better manage our time and expectations, as well as how to work in a team. All of the frameworks, libraries, and version control strategies utilized were also new to us, allowing us to spend those hours getting familiar with everything from Flask to GitHub branching.

What's next for Connect2Me

Fully implementing all of the intended features for Connect2Me is the first step, and that includes concurrent chat rooms, geofencing, verifying RIT emails, and locking users into chat rooms for a set amount of time. Once those are implemented, creation of a mobile application would greatly increase ease of use and accessibility

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