A team member recently changed his phone plan and canceled the internet but had unlimited texts and calls. So when he was waiting to borrow some hardware, the internet was too slow that it took almost 5 minutes to load one page, at that moment we had the idea of doing something online but offline. So we looked more into it, searched to see if it is possible, and in the end, we decided to go along with it.

What it does

The program takes a SMS as an input which corresponds to a Wolfram Alpha command. Then, the program would return the results of the command as a picture through a MMS.

How we built it

We used some libraries to help us in writing the code. The program has two functions. The first function takes the SMS as an input with the help of Twilio and takes the result as an output or response. The second function creates a server. Then, the input would be sent to server and that server would communicate with Wolfram Alpha by sending the input as a command and receiving the results as a picture. Finally, the picture would be taken from the survey and sent to Twilio which will then send us the picture though a MMS.

Why Wolfram Alpha

Not a lot of people know about it, but Wolfram Alpha has many cool and helpful features. Other than the fact that it can help us solve math, it allows us to understand medical prescriptions by telling us the number of pills we should consume. It can tell us the number of calories, whether one is too drunk to drive, BMI, general knowledge and historical events, statistics, help for shopping decisions, and many more.

Challenges we ran into

The challenges we faced were mostly due to the inexperience with nodeJS and Javascript. It was also one of the member's first time to successfully use an API.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We managed to stick as a team and overcome the challenges mentioned above by explaining to each other and seeking help. The program works like we planned.

What we learned

We learned how to use Twilio, nodeJS, Javascript, and successfully using an API for the first time for one of the members. Improve our collaboration skills and communication skills. We also realized that coming up with a feasible idea might take a lot of time but it is worth it.

What's next for Wolfram Beta

We are thinking of making it more interactive, allow it to send parameters with some functions to specify some of the properties, and allow it to produce an output other than an image. Wolfram offers a simple API and a full API, so we are thinking improving it by using the full API.

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