Four teens in New York will be the youngest ever to present at HackDay NYC today, a large startup event showcasing over 400 exhibitors to 10,000+ attendees. They are the creators of “DogeCache,” a mobile web app that combines Dogecoin and geocaching.
High Technology High School seniors Matthew Hsu, Zachary Liu, Austin Eng, and Andrew Millman created DogeCache at an event at the March 22nd hackBCA high school hackathon at Bergen County Academies, NJ, where in the span of only 24 hours, they built an app designed to digitize the recreational activity geocaching.
The mobile-first web app allows users to search for caches of Dogecoin that other users have hidden. Players can drop a certain amount of Dogecoin in their current position, which in turn allows them to search for Dogecoin that others have dropped around them.
The resulting product was judged the Most Polished app of the competition by a group of expert judges, including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Vine co-founder Colin Kroll. In addition, the app was awarded a special award by Intel Corporation for quality mobile design.
TechDay NYC invited the students to present their project, so they turned to the Dogecoin community at reddit for help. Shibes everywhere pitched in to assist DogeCache through direct donation, printing, and advice.
We took a moment to ask the students a couple questions about their project.
Why geocaching? Was one of your team members involved with that before?
When the four of us were brainstorming ideas to implement at the hackBCA hackathon prior to the event, we felt like we wanted to do something cryptocurrency related. One of our members in particular was a cryptocurrency enthusiast, and we felt that Dogecoin would be the perfect cryptocurrency for a game due to its lower value for higher quantities. From there, we brainstormed an idea for a scavenger-hunt like game, when we realized its similarity to geocaching. Although none of us are actively involved in geocaching, we decided that its fundamental principle of leaving something in order to take something matched the mentality behind dogecoin and its generous community. This led to Dogecache becoming what it is today: an experimental digital dogecoin-based scavenger hunt.
What were some technical challenges you had to overcome to make this work?
Aside from completing the app within a 24-hour constraint during the hackBCA high school hackathon, the single biggest technical challenge was the handling of Dogecoins. To save time during the hackathon, we opted to use the DogeAPI service (although we are slowly making the switch to running our own dogecoin node). Integrating the DogeAPI service into our backend and ensuring funds were synchronized was the most time consuming and required the most debugging. Next was properly displaying the search radius on the map interface and automatically zooming the map in and out based on the radius. This required quite a few spherical calculations. Following the hackathon, we have been continuously making improvements to the app and adding new functionality.
What got you interested in dogecoin?
We became interested in dogecoin earlier in the year, particularly during the time of the Winter Olympics. Curiosity caused us to look into dogecoin, and we were stunned by the strength and positivity of the community. Ever since, we’ve been supporters of dogecoin.
Learn more about DogeCache!