Virtual Tech Teens
Have you ever helped an elderly member of your family with tech support? We certainly have. However, many members of our community lack someone to ask for technical assistance. Virtual Tech Teens works to bridge this gap by connecting tech-savvy teens with elderly individuals from our community.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Monica Public Library hosted a program where teens could interact with the elderly through free tech help. Unfortunately, after the lockdown, this program was suspended until further notice. In this time of separation and isolation, the importance of connecting members of our community has been emphasized more than ever. Using modern technology, our application connects users to teens through a virtual medium.
What does our app do?
With the push of just one button, the Virtual Tech Teens app connects those in need of technical assistance with young, tech-savvy individuals. Users are placed into a queue to receive support. Once the call is accepted by a certified Virtual Tech Teen, a basic video calling interface is presented, including switch camera, mute microphone, and hang up controls. This is all paired with high-quality video calling provided by agora.io. The app also natively integrates with system-wide dark mode.
High schoolers can apply using a Google Form to become a certified Virtual Tech Teen. At which point, they can easily sign in to the app using Google Sign In and an approved email address, so they can access the receiving end of the support requests.
The best tech support happens in person. But at a time when this simply isn't possible, Virtual Tech Teens brings the simplicity of face-to-face tech support online. No more tedious setup, confusing instructions, or low-quality communication. Virtual Tech Teens connects the best in I.T. with those who need it most.
How we built it
We used Swift to create an accessible app with a polished user-interface, Agora.io for high-quality video conferencing, and Firebase for our mobile backend services.
What were our challenges?
As high schoolers, we were initially intimidated by HackDSC’s target audience of college students. We wanted to create a modern, useful, and impactful app that lived up to the standards of the other participants, so we pushed ourselves to do so. We experienced many technical challenges that were eventually overcome with perseverance, dedication, and a little bit of coffee.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We’re really proud of the progress that our project has made! This is definitely the best and most ambitious project that our high school team has made yet! We learned many new things about programming, branding, coordination, and teamwork. It was definitely a learning experience!
- Note: Virtual Tech Teens is not currently associated with the Santa Monica Public Library.
- MLH Best Name Registered with Domain.com: inspirewith.tech (Registered for this Hackathon)
What's next for Virtual Tech Teens?
In the future, we hope to implement a sorting system for queued users to match them with Virtual Tech Teens for specific topics (such as iOS, Android, Gmail, or Chrome). We also hope to use it in conjunction with the Santa Monica Public Library’s volunteering programs.