Inspiration

Regardless of the technological advances, free internet in most countries is far from realisation since operating wireless access points costs money and the revenues are practically non-existent. As a by product of this, most public wireless networks are a nightmare from a usability standpoint. We believe it is possible to provide top notch wireless data to people for free in exchange for non intrusive toast notifications in a manner that's financially justifiable with our non-intrusive native advertising.

What it does

It allows the user to get access to the internet on Waveroll wireless networks as long as they have the Waveroll app running in the background. The app running in the background periodically serves advertisements in the form of toast notifications on different platforms.

How we built it

The current software infrastructure is divided into two parts. A backend REST API and user management forms written in Scala using the Play framework and a native android application written in Kotlin using Android SDK. This also required the setup of a custom captive portal that can serve the app initially (not on play store yet) if the user is not using the app yet.

Challenges we ran into

Some of the biggest challenges raised from the fact that the software stacks for this project were developed in languages and frameworks in which we had absolutely no prior experience. The android application is written in Kotlin, a JVM based language by JetBrains that came out a couple of weeks ago. The REST API is written in Scala using the play framework. Since, it was our first time touching base with these languages and frameworks, it was quite an interesting experience as we figured out the syntax quirks, libraries (or lack thereof!), and associated technologies over the course of the hackathon. Beside the completely experimental software stack, getting a captive portal up and running was also quite a challenge.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The fact that we managed to write demoable software in languages and frameworks we've never seen before.

What we learned

SBT is a lie! Also, there's a reason these technologies are called "bleeding edge!".

What's next for Waveroll

Next up, we're planning on writing our custom router firmware so we have better control over the traffic through iptables and a captive portal system that serves specifically to our needs. Besides the routing system, we need to write native apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and universal apps for Windows 10 (Windows phone, Windows tablet, and Windows computers) so that we can have target the entirety of the market.

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Updates

posted an update

Waveroll marched on after HackUPC and pitched at Jacobs Startup Competition, one of the most prestigious early stage startup competitions in Germany along with 9 other startups from around Europe. We are glad to announce that we were among the three teams that walked away as Winners. Now, we are in the process of applying to accelerators. Let's see where this goes... Perhaps having a future with free Wi-Fi on trains is not that far after all.

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