Our team saw a Youtube video of how students from lower income families were being left out in education due to their lack of access to the Internet. We realized how how essential the Internet is to modern society and wanted to make sure everyone could get the access they needed. We also realized that the data that was provided from testing was not enough to really show the potential devastating impact of what COVID-19 is doing throughout the country. We then realized that these 2 problems could benefit from each other and that's how ViFi came to be.
What it does
ViFi is a platform that allows you to sign up to obtain free internet service and direct access to tools that can assist you during this crisis. ViFi will partner with Facebook to cover the user's internet fees in exchange for the user's permission to use their anonymous GPS data for the purpose of research.
How We built it
Challenges We ran into
We ran into challenges first when figuring out use cases and realistic implementations for a customer. Another challenge was creating a UI that was friendly and useful to the user. This included figuring out all of the different flows possible with our application. Finally, there were challenges in taking that UI and creating a back end code base for it, such as a sql database and creating a connection between the front end and back end. This was a quick-changing idea as we were constantly finding new information and ideas already out in the world, so we wanted to implement our app in a way that would be new and useful while taking advantage of what already existed.
We decided to create an Android app for this project. For Android the difficult part was as we were agile and working on the idea on the go, our idea kept on improvising, so it was hard to keep up with the design, also to know the exact number of cases per city is kind of difficult, as data needs to be collected from internet and validated, so there's no API for that.
Another big challenge was working on this project completely remotely. Teamwork was essential and how we split up work was important to the efficiency of this project.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Making a function app for now. Coming up with a good idea, which can leverage the existing infrastructure and help us track and fight the COVID-19. Working on creating the backend for Android app for 1st time.
What I learned
Throughout this project, we learned a lot not only about the process of creating and implementing a design, but also about the issue at hand, which is the COVID-19 outbreak. We first needed to educate ourselves thoroughly on how the disease spreads and what the best forms of “flattening the curve” were. After the process, we had to learn how to create a user friendly design that would be utilized by the public to gather information to fight the outbreak. Once our idea came into focus, we had to learn how to work as a team, virtually, and split the work up in a way that was efficient. Then, the final learning aspects came with the actual functionality. Those who worked with UI had their own set of challenges, which included created a user friendly interface and something that would be attractive to the general public. The back end coders had their own set of challenges, which included figuring out how to implement the UI with functional code, setting up an android interface, creating a sql database, etc.
What's next for ViFi
To implement the project in existing FB’s infrastructure, which would help us in contact tracing and prevent the virus from spreading further. This can also help flatten the curve.