Inspiration

  • Frustration with ZOOM TECHNOLOGIES.
  • Still does not feel flow with daily workflow and feel: it does not make things easier in, for example, academia.
  • What my philosophy teacher called the zoomer prisoner dilemma: defecting (staying quiet and video off) has more payoff than cooperating (video on, at the very least).

What it does

  • Create and manage classrooms.
  • Streamlines classrooms and video sessions together, which enables a more interactive experience.
  • Enables the owner to have more control over sessions, such as enforcing video to be on, so that students can't hide.
  • Manages the virtual classroom to be the hub for all recording sessions (and past sessions)
  • Chat feature for users to communicate with each other.

How we built it

  • Websockets were used to facilitate two way communication for both the chat and images.
  • Mongoose to store email/password data
  • Boilerplate from https://github.com/sahat/hackathon-starter: brilliant way to make the workload faster.
  • bootstrap/pug templating to prototype design sites

Challenges we ran into

  • I am not the best designer: my limited experience with bootstrap/css certainly shows.
  • Webcam technology not the best.
  • Associating the new Classroom model with the User model, within a non relational context. (on ruby on rails, it is much easier)

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Being able to manage and join classrooms page. It is one of the few moments where I think I am satisfied with my inability to design.
  • Making a standardized way of having websockets communicate with each other to send camera frames and chat.
  • Using pug templating to show data to a client, so that client can use it and interact with the other users.

What we learned

  • Learned node.js, expressjs, and mongoose as a techstack. I am more familiar with django and ruby on rails.
  • Using a nodejs MVC template from github and trying to manage the code. It's hard to understand code you didn't write.
  • Learned a lot about websockets and client-server interactions.

What's next for Vroom

  • Have a cleaner design/hire a designer.
  • Marketing: audience is schools/colleges. Limit users to make 1-2 classrooms, and have big academic organizations pay for more classrooms.
  • Combining the best of both worlds of zoom and google meet/classroom: recording sessions, audio/enforcing audio, turning in assignments, exam features, etc.
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