Note

Everything you see in the video is implemented. Please see our public GitHub repository.

The problem our project solves

Social isolation is a major point nowadays. A huge variety of studies shows that social isolation is leading to severe mental health issues not limited to cognitive decline, the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, depression, neuroticism and hallucinations [1][2][3].

Common ways of interacting with other such as going to the gym, heading out for a drink or being at work or at university are not possible anymore. The lockdown is causing health issues for every generation, no matter if we consider the smallest kids or the grandparents [4].

The solution we bring to the table

We enable everyone to stay connected during the Corona crisis. In our app, people can create challenge, invite their friends, find challenges in their neighborhood and win prizes. Do you have it to show everyone you're the best in removing trash in the forest or to show a bike champion that you can do a wheelie while wearing a face mask?

Furthermore, YourTurn users can create public and private challenges with or without prizes. Also, they can chose to donate a certain amount of the prize pool for social causes.

Our implementation details

We built a native App with React Native. In this way, we generated native Apps for Android, iOS and the web. We connected our App to a FastAPI backend that is deployed on Amazon Web Services. To ease the hosting and deployment, we are running the backend inside a Docker container. The backend accesses data from a MongoDB that is also hosted on AWS.

Tech stack

The entire code base is available open-source with a MIT license.

What we have done during the weekend

We have built the application from scratch. We split up in three different teams and took care of the conceptual design, the frontend development and the backend development. We learned JavaScript and mobile development as well as new APIs and tools. Also, we reached out to prominent people in Germany leveraging our and our friends' networks and even managed to acquire the German track bicycle champion to promote our application with his own challenge.

We have pitched to mentors across various domains and even received funding offers beside a lot of amazing feedback!

The solution’s impact to the crisis

YourTurn minimizes the risk of mental health issues during lockdown. Various studies have shown the immense need for an application like ours to ensure a healthy and functional situation. While YourTurn not only minimizes potential of mental health diseases, it connects people locally and remotely. What's better than doing games with your (grand-)parents or your friends and showing them you are the best?

The necessities in order to continue the project

We want to get in touch with health insurance providers and possible challenge partners. Most health insurance providers already have bonus programs to reward activity improving one's health and may be interested in collaborating with us. We already acquired challenge partners, but are also interested to get in touch with companies who could promote their challenge and, let's phrase it as it is, advertise through their challenges.

On the other hand, we are right now reaching out to networks such as the German food bank, school networks and ministries to see if they would potentially be interested in promoting our YourTurn and bringing a user base to the platform. We have a large network and will use it up to the last end, however, we are looking for active marketing partners. If you can help us generating outreach and attracting users, please get in touch with us!

From a technical point of view, the current implementation is in a great shape and ready to be used. However, for a go live we would like to encourage UI and UX designers to give us feedback about the current usability and design.

Technical enhancements

So far, we trust users that they only check challenges they completed. While it's quite straight forward to scrape public posts on social media, our team holds expertise in analyzing image and video data. Leveraging this knowledge, we will be able to automatically analyze social media images in order to determine whether images with a solution to the specific challenge have been provided or not.

Also, our challenge feed is right now based on certain fixed criteria, i.e. we show our challenges, the challenges of our friends and other challenges in random order. The challenges can be filter based on different tags and geographical information. However, to scale the platform, we want to implement a collaborative filtering based recommender system that ranks the challenges in an appropriate order, i.e. users will see challenges they might be interested in earlier in the feed.

The value of our solution after the crisis

All our team members have left their home towns to explore something new. We have been living in all parts of the globe covering most continents and know it can be difficult to join a new community without knowing anyone. Either for studying, for work or just to see something new, people are consistently changing their environments. While platforms like Jodel and Facebook groups give people an impression about certain activities that are going on, it's difficult to actually get in contact with others unless one is super extrovert. What's the solution for it? Easy, do a challenge with locals!

Also we lower the potential of mental health diseases by easing the contact to friends, family and any person on the planet having access to an internet connection. Mental health issues are a severe point during lockdown times, but can't be neglected afterwards. The WHO presented statistics that almost 5% of the world population suffered from depression before the 2020 lockdown to name only one of the various risks [5].

The potential of a challenge application

For now, such challenges are primarily done through social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. While this way is very established, a global challenge platform will come with a lot of advantages over the decentralized challenge environment. Our platform comes from a social motivation. It is possible to track the bets and the results are taken seriously. We all remember the ice bucket challenge, but probably there wasn't anyone who actually made up for not completing the challenge. Our application is the perfect way to remind your friends that their debts haven't been paid. Furthermore, we add the opportunity to donate the money for social causes. A challenge profile, challenge stats, connecting to new people, exploring interesting challenges and competing together with and also against friends and family are only few of the advantages YourTurn comes with.

But is doing challenges really a thing? KFC recently started its dothecolonel challenge and already attracted over 350 million people. This did not only bring a lot of reach to the company, but also increased their Net Promoter Score from 13 to 53. Also, who doesn't know the ice bucket challenge, the mannequin challenge or Drake's In My Feelings / Kiki challenge? These are just few of the numerous challenge that went viral to demonstrate the enormous potential of our application. The success of "In My Feelings" made Drake the record holder for most number one hits among rappers in the history of the Hot 100 chart.

Our team

screenshot of our team

A large part of our team worked in previous hackathons together. For this hackathons, some of our friends helped us out to create YourTurn. Our team contains a variety of backgrounds that allows us to create meaningful products. Our team in detail:

  • Arne Fornell holds an Industrial Engineering MS from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and works as strategy consultant applying his expertise in business management and finance. His broad experience allows him to analyze markets and business potential connecting many domains.
  • Malte Fornell is about to finish a Computer Science BS at University of Hamburg. During his time as a working student at Airbus, he has gained valueable insight into working environments aswell as improved his analytical abilities. Data analysis is one of his strong suits, including implementing business intelligence into user friendly dashboards.
  • Manuel Lang holds a Computer Science MS from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and works as freelancer in machine learning and software engineering. He finished his MS thesis at Carnegie Mellon University, published his work at ICLR 2020 and obtained industry knowledge working with companies across various domains such as NASA.
  • Marius Bauer is about to finish a Computer Science MS at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He gained a lot of research experience in machine learning and computer vision and works on a freelance base since almost 10 years.
  • Minh-Kha Nguyen holds an Industrial Engineering MS from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and is about to start his work as data analytics consultant applying his knowledge in data science and management. His experience allows him to sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.
  • Nils Keßler is about to finish an Industrial Engineering BS at Technical University of Darmstadt. His creative and curious nature allows him to easily learn new tools and technologies, and quickly adapt to new situations.
  • Timo Keßler holds a Management MS from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. His management and consulting experience allows him to come up with possible use cases and to take the view from potential business partners. Also, his network allows us to get in touch with possible multipliers helping in marketing.

Quotes from us:

  • "To develop a concept and strategy from scratch, with creativity and fun in mind, has been a great experience". - Arne
  • "Streamlining ideas to find a cool solution that solves a social need and serves a large consumer market has been lots of fun!“ - Timo
  • "I really need some motivation to do my exercises. Let's just push it to the AppStore!" - Manuel
  • "Never thought I would have been able to craft a working app in 48 hours without prior experience in mobile app development!" - Minh-Kha

Sources

[1] Holt-Lunstad, J. (2017). The potential public health relevance of social isolation and loneliness: Prevalence, epidemiology, and risk factors. Public Policy & Aging Report, 27(4), 127-130.

[2] Klinenberg, E. (2016). Social isolation, loneliness, and living alone: identifying the risks for public health. American journal of public health, 106(5), 786.

[3] Santini, Z. I., Jose, P. E., Cornwell, E. Y., Koyanagi, A., Nielsen, L., Hinrichsen, C., ... & Koushede, V. (2020). Social disconnectedness, perceived isolation, and symptoms of depression and anxiety among older Americans (NSHAP): a longitudinal mediation analysis. The Lancet Public Health, 5(1), e62-e70.

[4] Child, S. T., & Lawton, L. (2019). Loneliness and social isolation among young and late middle-age adults: Associations with personal networks and social participation. Aging & mental health, 23(2), 196-204.

[5] World Health Organization. (‎2017)‎. Depression and other common mental disorders: global health estimates. World Health Organization.

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