WalkingBuddy

Where did the idea come from?

Durham University spans across a large area across the city, there are many areas without streetlights and are surrounded by woodlands, particularly around the Hill Colleges and Maiden Castle, which may discourage students from participating events taking place in the evenings. We have built on this idea and have decided to make it available to be used at any time of the day.

Target users

We are making this app available for all Durham University students, they will need to sign up and verify their account with their durham.ac.uk email. We believe this app will be especially useful for freshers, as it could help them socialise with new people. We are aware that some students would avoid going to college for food because they are conscious of sitting by themselves and this app could potentially help with this issue. For example, students can arrange to walk back to college together during mealtime.

What does it do?

The app allows students to meet up with others to walk together as a group. For example, student A sends a request for someone to walk with from Bill Bryson Library to St. Hild and St. Bede college at 18:00, and student B has also requested for someone to walk with from Bill Bryson Library to St. Hild and St. Bede College at 18:00, these two students will match automatically and they will be notified of this. They will be given the other person’s name and the college they are in. This information should then be checked when the two students meet up. At the end of the journey, they will need to confirm on the app to say they have arrived safely.

Challenges

We have originally planned to have the option to automatically send SMS to the emergency contact once the journey has completed as an extra safety measure, however in the end we were unable to integrate Twilio with Android Studio. We would like to research the API further and eventually add this function to the app. PLUS, everything else, including database, Google Calendar API, Android Studio, time management

What we are proud of

This was the first hackathon that any of us have contended in. While we did not manage to finish the project to a completely usable state, we know we tried our best. All of us worked all night to deliver our vision for the app, and we continued to keep our morales high and concentration focused, despite having to go through 5 different database backends, and a complete pivot from our original task 5 hours in, we worked hard to submit a project that we all felt very passionate about. We hope that we can one day bring this project forward, as we believe that it would have a positive impact on the most vulnerable members of the student community.

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