Inspiration

Us having traveled many a time, we sought for a dynamic lifestyle in a new city whether it's a vacation, a move to college, or even a move after college. By encouraging people to go out and explore their cities is imperative to a healthy community as the discovery and acknowledgment of cool new locations incentivizes a dynamic lifestyle for every inhabitant, tourist, and newcomer.

What it does

When started, the program would hone in on the user's location and make a request for any nearby venues that are of notable interest(from checkins and ratings), inserting markers on top of those locations. As the user drifts near that location, a Check-In button would appear, allowing a chance to feed their Octocat and venture into whatever venue was closeby.

How we built it

Utilizing the Foursquare API, we were able to determine which venue had the most check-ins based around the approximate location. Building off this, we were able to place markers with their respective radius with the Google Maps API and a Check-in progress bar that tracks whether or not the Octocat virtual pet was fed adequately within the time limit. A majority of these components with API was done with Javascript, especially in the request for information. The Octocat animation was designed in Maya, the Check-in bar was done in CSS3, and the overall layout of the map was constructed with HTML.

Challenges we ran into

We had hoped for a more user-friendly integration, but due to Wi-Fi and IP issues, wrapping any code with our program (which works well within the boundary of a website) to be deployed in mobile was restricted. Along with the complications, we bit off more than we could chew, so our product ended up being more rushed and lacked a lot of components that we had originally wanted to show off.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This being our first time, we wanted to venture into fairly unforgiving territory, this being Javascript, Android Studio, and mobile development. With a very solid idea, we accomplished a lot by learning a lot on how wrapping works, dependencies, requests, deployability, etc. In the end, while we were not completely ecstatic with what we made, we definitely were satisfied by the end-product considering how much we did not know in the start.

What we learned

Plan out ahead by understanding the basic languages, structures, and tools necessary for a project. Divide up the roles evenly and contribute as much as we can. It's okay to rely on the people around because they're here for the hackers.

What's next for Virtual Interactive Pet (V.I.P.)

Besides making it cleaner, we wanted to explore more of React Native, and being able to obtain licenses to deploy this in Google App and Apple shops once we configured it to be smoother and refined. Through possibly a course and enough time over the summer, V.I.P. will be able to be integrated as well as any company product.

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