Jason Kim's Blog

Making Bubble


I worked on chat/photo sharing app called Bubble with 4 others. We won the runner-up for judge's choice award in [University of Washington's HCDE Capstone & Research Showcase].

I worked with 4 masters students from UW's HCD program to build a photo sharing chat app with a shocking twist. The twist is that the app does not need internet connection to work. The app is called Bubble.

We started working together in January 2014. We began with brainstorming what kind of thing we wanted to work with. We literally could not gauge what each of us were interested in. So we threw together a dozen something ideas and we narrowed down to a vague location check-in app. The idea didn't stop evolving there. We continued to carve and morph the idea. Eventually the app turned out to be something completely unexpected.

Bubble is a chat/photo sharing app that doesn't rely on internet connection.

Back in 2009 when I used to commute to my work to Merrill Lynch in Toronto, I felt incredibly bored in the subway. I had a old school flip phone, so I couldn't do much, but I had unlimited text and I would text a lot. But in the subway without any connection, I was left doing nothing. There and then, I was thinking to myself how awesome it would be to still be able to chat with others without having signal. I thought of some sort of mesh network then. Decentralized, ad-hoc networks that could be created anywhere. I also imagined a world where companies like Rogers and Bell were irrelevant forces in telecommunication. So this idea of complete decentralized network captured my wild imaginations.

Fast forward to 2014, I learned that iOS has the precise capability to do this. I didn't really let my team know, but it was an amazing feeling. I was finally working on something that I only dreamed of only a few years ago. And this app I was working on wasn't just for chat, it could also send photos. The idea was infatuating. The app was gold.

I will continue to work on the app to see it in the AppStore. I can't wait for that moment to come.