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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Details now on the new ChargeBump website: ChargeBump.com

ChargeBump
is something that's been thrown around between a few of us for a while, and I think it's time to make it happen.

ChargeBump will be an entirely free app designed purely and simply to alleviate "charge rage" and any personal issues and conflicts at public charging locations.

The original plan was to design (which is mostly done) and code the app entirely myself, with native iOS, Android and Windows Phone versions. However, I simply don't have the time, skills or focus to do this, so I'm opening it up on here and have had some great help from the community already, more on that below.


The premise is simple.

The app has a few planned "stages", depending on uptake, demand and problems we run in to on the way. But the basics are.

A simple app which enables users to request "bumps" if they arrive to find a charge point occupied.

The real focus here is the simplicity. You don't need to print out any codes, place a barcode somewhere, deal with screen glare, share your phone number anything like that at all. Your car is your unique identifier.

You arrive, request a bump... and that's it. You'll be notified of a response from the occupier, or prompted if they're not yet part of the ChargeBump "network" of vehicles.

Over time (depending on demand/response/ease of implementation) there is a roadmap to make check-ins at chargers automatic, offer pre-set charger occupation limits and pre-emptive responses (ie "This vehicle will be here for another 12 minutes, still request bump?") and so on.


A community effort.

I don't have time or the skills to make this app happen on my own, so I had a few choices. They were to pay someone to work on it, and then somehow add income streams to the app later, to keep plugging away on my own, and maybe never release the thing, or try and get investment up front and risk having investors seeking "payback" from the app by the way of fees or something. The last option was to seek help from the community here, and prompted by others quickly offering to help out, I think this is the best option.

If you are interested in getting involved on the development and/or testing side, please see below for more information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The ChargeBump developer community...

So here we go. This is totally unplanned and I've never developed in this way before, but the basic premise is this.

I will act as project lead, final decision maker and primary app designer, I'll also handle the releases and such (esp. iOS).

Anyone else who wishes to be involved will be contributors. There's no money involved aside from the costs myself/my company may incur which I believe are incidental and the time we all put in. There's no money to be made, all of this is to help ourselves and the wider EV community.

If the app starts to put high demand on the backend service and has to cover costs I will work out a way to do this and discuss with the other contributors. I'd like to keep it informal and easy as possible at this stage.

Contributors will receive credits on the about screen and ChargeBump site including links to their site/their company site if they so desire. My payback is intended to be a) involved in something cool for EVs and b) the PR for myself and Speak EV, so I think it's fair to share that payback with contributors.

Please let me know below if you're interested, or drop me a PM via "conversations" above.


Also chime in if you have any feature requests or would like to beta test this. I can't guarantee we'll be able to do everything, but please don't let that stop your ideas coming.

ChargeBump currently has a very narrow focus, I'd like it to do one thing, and one thing well from the start.
 

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I have quite a bit of Android development experience, though I don't think I could commit enough time to be too much use. If however, you'd like someone to review code, have some input or just help out when things get bogged down, I'm sure I could spare a little time. Feel free to give me a nudge if things move along :)
 

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While I think it's a great idea, it seems to duplicate the functionality offered by the folks over at FleetCarma...

http://www.mycarma.com/

While I've supported the project and I'm going for the logging kit, they also do this little QR code you can put in your car's window. Then you use the smartphone app to request some help :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's very different, it's dedicated and it's free.

It also does away with the trouble and faff of any QR codes and the like, which another Tesla branded app also decided to use. The potential downsides to which are time, convenience, printing, potential scanning issues through the windscreen, fading QR codes, attaching QR codes, understanding QR codes...

I get the feeling someone somewhere said "QR CODES, YEAH!" and didn't really think beyond that. I once had a boss like that, even suggested QR codes in mobile-targeted emails instead of links... think that one through?! :D
 

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We have a benefit in the UK/Europe because we have mandatory registration plates on cars. Things are a little different elsewhere and I can see why you might need the extra complication of QR codes in those markets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not a huge deal. There's always an option for those exceptions IF it becomes an issue. I want to focus on the majority as the more people who can use it with the least potential pitfalls the better.

Anyone want to help with the Android version or is there a crazy steep learning curve ahead?
 

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I keep meaning to write more than a Hello World app for Android and WP but never have the time BUT I do spend a lot of time in databases for a living and have built a lot of MySQL servers on AWS and Digital Ocean.

I probably have spare capacity to host you a DB for free and help design the DB if you so desire too?

I understand you've probably already got this covered but your forum just saved me £100 on my first day on it so thought I'd volunteer my specialism!
 

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Ahhh. Hadn't seen that before (parse.com).

I do wish people would stop coming up with great ideas that negate the need for DB guys like me! ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ahhh. Hadn't seen that before (parse.com).

I do wish people would stop coming up with great ideas that negate the need for DB guys like me! ;-)
Horses for courses, there's a lot of design tools out there too, but they'll never replace the designer. Same with these, needs DB guys to make 'em work. :)
 

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I've only just seen that I was mentioned on to this thread, are you essentially looking for a front end app that takes a car registration and sends it off to a backend, to do all of the heavy lifting and listen out for a server response.

It sounds like a quick app to produce. In my head all I think is:
Text Font Material property Logo Rectangle
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've only just seen that I was mentioned on to this thread, are you essentially looking for a front end app that takes a car registration and sends it off to a backend, to do all of the heavy lifting and listen out for a server response.

It sounds like a quick app to produce. In my head all I think is:
View attachment 1302
lol, that's more or less it yes. Very simple to begin with, have a "roadmap" in my head to add in new stuff. Back-end lifting is done by Parse.com, @fenlander is playing with the iOS version.

Are you interested in taking part? I'll message you (or you can message me) if so?

Thanks!

Paul
 

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lol, that's more or less it yes. Very simple to begin with, have a "roadmap" in my head to add in new stuff. Back-end lifting is done by Parse.com, @fenlander is playing with the iOS version.

Are you interested in taking part? I'll message you (or you can message me) if so?

Thanks!

Paul
I can take a look at it for you, I've just finish off my degree and I have a month or so before I ramp up to my new job so I'll give it a shot. If I think I have the ability to do it for you I'll get on to it right away for you. Pop some details through for me and I'll make a start on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@fenlander and @Oliver Hemsted already seem to be making really, really impressive progress at this early stage.

We'd really like to have people ready to test and feedback on this when we're ready for that stage, so if you are interested, please state so on here and also let us know your phone make/model and operating system.

Thanks all.
 

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Hi! I have iphone 5 and windows phone (nokia lumia 820) if that's any good ?
Can't be doing with android, so can't help on that one .....

More than happy to help with testing on both.
 
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