The inspiration for X-Tension came from our personal experiences related to workplace changes because of COVID19. We were both very taken aback by the sudden need to work from home and had to adapt rather quickly to the new environment. There wasn't really any time to fully "adjust" and set up a comfortable, ergonomic workplace because it was all "Go, go, go!" for most companies to rapidly adapt to the crisis. We wanted a simple way for people around the world to make working at home healthier and stress-free, and that's how X-Tension was born.

The name for X-Tension comes from the fact that it is literally a Chrome extension, but also works to kill your tension and bring peace to your mind!

What it does

X-Tension is a Chrome browser extension that provides push notifications reminders to users about taking walk breaks (e.g. to meet a pre-determined daily step count), follow the 20/20/20 rule (to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes) and set-up their desk ergonomically.

How we built it

The app was built with Javascript (and Node.js) through and through, utilizing the Chrome extension framework and a Firebase real-time database. We used HTML, CSS (specifically Bootstrap) to style our landing page and extension popup.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into a lot of trouble learning how to use Firebase! There is so much documentation (which is usually a good thing), but actually ended up in us being confused comparing all the sources together. Specifically, it was difficult for us to set up Firebase read/write queries in the Chrome extension itself (which was client-side/browser Javascript). We couldn't use Node.js like we were used to, so that was a challenge that we had to learn how to overcome with lots of Youtube and docs.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud that we were able to set up rich notifications successfully and Firebase integration for our users! It was our first time ever building a Chrome extension and using Firebase, so we were overjoyed to actually have a working product at the end of this journey. We were able to pick up what we needed pretty quickly, even if we weren't able to develop all our features.

What we learned

We learnt that a hell of a lot is possible within 24 hours (especially with coffee) and that Firebase can be finicky, but very rewarding. We really enjoyed the learning process that we had with this Hackathon, compared to working with a stack that we were already familiar with. It's not always just about building a killer product, but also about learning something new/interesting in the process.

What's next for X-Tension

There are lots in store for X-Tension! Firstly, we want to be able to display real-time progress tracking for users' steps throughout the day. We think this will be an intuitive addition with our current setup in Firebase. We're also looking to add more information tracking, potentially by connecting with fitness devices (e.g. Apple Watch, Fitbit) to get a more accurate display of how physically active a user is being. Finally, we want to be able to add a community aspect to the app, by being able to compare your steps with your friends.

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