We were inspired by the need to reduce the difficulties that being far away from your loved ones brings. Many of our group members have dealt with this problem and so it was something we were passionate about. Because of this, we also had some insights on the most challenging parts of the experience and what we could do to lessen that. We also saw that one of the most distanced and separated people on Earth were people who might not even be on the Earth for long periods of time, like astronauts in space. This made us consider their hardships as well and led to the idea about making call schedules that could help people more available and feel not so far away.
What it does
Timely is a an app that schedules calls for you wherever you are. This product was made specifically to tackle the problem of differing timezones not only all around the world, but also in space. We know firsthand the importance of finding the right schedule to spend quality time with your family and friends. This is especially true when you are far away and for long periods of time. Timely allows you not worry about the details and jump right into the call. All you have to do is give your location and availability and Timely does the rest.
How we built it
We built the product in several steps. The first step was to plan what our app did and hammer out the details. This meant we had to consider what our project would look like step by step and the technologies we would be using. Firstly, we needed to plan out scenes in our app and sketched those out. In addition, we had to plan out trajectories, angles and a changing human perception when we would be in space. We also assigned parts to each of our three members based on our strengths and focused on what each person could do best. Furthermore, we made sure to use a wide array of the given options when it came to technology and tools in order to make sure we learned as much as we could. Our project uses react as our main framework and we combine some backend features with express as well. We made heavy use of react libraries React Three Fiber and Drae in our 3d animations. In addition, we used Auth0 to make secure sign ins possible. Finally we employed Twilio to integrate video right into our 3d pages that took you to your call wherever it might be.
Challenges we ran into
The main challenge we ran into was keeping up with time. After planning out our initial vision for the project, we found that it would take alot of time to integrate so many tools and technologies into our project. Thus we were always short on time in trying to complete the project in a reasonable enough manner. In addition, we had some difficulty solving the mathematics behind the angles and trajectory. We had to make sure that our movement of stars, the Earth, the Sun and the astronaut were as realistic as possible. This meant we had to figure out the mathematics behind the movement, the angles, the lighting and more.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud to have accomplished so much in so little time. Our project involved some very cool technology and this kept us very engaged with the work. Our work in animation especially, turned out to be very rewarding. In addition, Im proud to have worked on an idea that could potentially help alot of people with whatever hardships they might be having away from their loved ones. Perhaps, even more than that, we learned some important life.
What we learned
We feel that we learned some very important life lessons during this process. In working closely with so much code, especially in animation we became very adept at react libraries like React Three JS. In the same way, we learned how to tackle some very vague ideas in our heads. We learned to dissect and extrapolate from what we were given and wanted to do. In the end, we were to actualize alot of what we envisioned and this was a very good experience in problem solving. Whats more is that working so closely with teammates allowed us to become very close. We learned to work together and cooperate as a team.
What's next for Timely
At Timely, we are aiming to help more and more people close the distance between their loved ones. We know that as space becomes more and more travelled, the distance between some people might increase. We aim to help such people in whatever way we can.