The vulnerable population was suggested to self-isolate during the pandemic, and they may feel lonely as they are isolated from their family and friends. Some may overcome this issue by phone/ video calls and text messages with their loved ones on a regular basis. However, not every one of them have access to the internet or electronic devices.
I would like to tackle the digital divide by connecting the vulnerable population to the wider community.
How it works
Volunteers sign up with their contact details using the app
A phone number, which the vulnerable population can call or text to register for TextFriend, will be distributed via partnering with community centres or supermarkets delivering groceries.
The isolated population can text the number and input preferences for pairing up with volunteers
All information collected will be uploaded to database and stored securely
Matching between the vulnerable and volunteers based on preferences, languages, age group and etc
Paired up individuals can connect via SMS
How I built it
Back-end development using Node and Express
Twilio for making phone calls and texting
Challenges I ran into
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I built a working prototype with Twilio.
What I learned
What's next for TextFriend
Mask phone numbers
- Users can connect with each other without giving out their phone numbers
- Pairing with be done according to users' interests, languages, and preferences