People are by nature social creatures. These past few months of having to isolate and distance yourself from others has been extremely difficult, both physically and mentally. In today’s world, communication and social contact are a huge part of daily life, larger than they have ever been before. This situation happened so quickly, and it may continue indefinitely. We believe that one can abide by the ‘new normal’ and still maintain social contact by using Vox of Life.

In Latin, the word ‘vox’ means ‘voice’. Vox of Life strives to be the ‘voice’ that can be used to initiate, maintain and communicate with others in a safe, controlled environment by the use of the Vox of Life app. The Vox of Life is an opportunity to socialize with others with the same interests, hobbies in you choose, or with someone else who may just need to talk and hear another human voice.

What are you interested in accomplishing? What might be reasonable to accomplish?

Encourage spontaneous meaningful interactions between all walks of life Reduce impact of social isolation Make conversing with new people comfortable Encouraging extroversion in a time where we’re all distanced

Is this something you want to do within the timeframe of the hackathon only, or are you interested in working on this after the 12th?

The effects of COVID-19 are far reaching, and mitigating the effects of social isolation is our goal. We believe we can do this by connecting new people on 1:1 phone calls to meet new walks of life. Even after the curve is flattened and social interaction becomes safer, we will be transitioning our efforts to continue reducing the impact of social isolation, and creating ways for improved communication between individuals and groups.

What is your bandwidth to contribute?

We, the members of this team, are extremely passionate about our mission and are currently balancing this initiative with full time professions. We are capable of supporting this initiative but are seeking support to ensure our mission continues to have a greater impact.

Who is on your team? Please describe your background and why you’re the right person/team to work on your idea.

Magus

  • Software Engineer
  • Design thinker
  • Social enterprise enthusiast
  • Right person: I like to make things, and also love to make things better.I aspire to work and make products that can create lasting social impacts globally

Shiv

  • Client facing
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Health focused
  • Right person: I desire to make an impact that can positively affect people and improve the way people see the world and others

Sam

  • Marketing Specialist
  • Client facing
  • Right person: I have a desire to network with others and get to know other people and Vox of Life is heavily geared toward networking

Patrick

  • Full stack developer
  • Highly competent in multiple technologies
  • Right person: I am not a fungus, I am a fun guy and I like building fun tech

Inspiration

Vox of Life was inspired after noticing heavy the toll self-isolation was putting on the mental health of friends and closed ones. Social distancing and self-isolation don't have to mean loneliness and silence. VOL's on the mission to encourage people to have meaningful social interactions, while still practicing safe social distancing. We enable this by pairing different walks of life to each other through just a voice call and simply by the time they both are available.

Built

To rapidly execute on this mission, the proof of concept initially was "pretotyped" with a combination of traditional software engineering frameworks (NodeJS/Nest) and even no-code tools (Zapier, Airtable, Wix). We used NestJS to build our matching algorithm and backend server, and used the no code tools to build our frontend. The first prototype was complete in the first half of a weekend, and the private beta started the very next day. A lot was learned from our testers and the project went through multiple iterations over the course of the trial very quickly.

Challenges

Initially, VOL calls only worked over the web on desktops. Multiple testers provided feedback to make it also accessible over their mobile devices. In less than a week's time, the testers were able to dial-in to their calls.

Future

Nursing Homes

Build relations with nursing homes, to allow the isolated elders to have one on one calls with volunteers

Slack

Integration for Slack, where users can have spontaneous one on one interactions with in their existing communities

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