Team Name: Just In Time Development (JITD)
Team Members: Ianto Xi, Tatiana Ferreyra, David Ju, Josef Nunez
* Indented ideas were built or expanded on the idea that the indented ideas fall under. Hackster doesn't allow further indentation, so additional idea expansion is specified.
1. Discover: App that displays a map showing the user points of interest to discover (such as museums, parks, etc.) around the user's location.
2. App that shows locally recommended locations (restaurants, cafes, hang out spots) for travelers to explore (ironic since local spots could become tourist spots).
3. Location aware facts app that will give out information and history about certain locations around the city depending on the user's location.
4. Tourist Heat Map: app that displays a heat map of tourists in a given location that allows users to avoid places congested with tourists.
5. App that shows wait times for popular attractions in an area in order to better help users plan out their itenerary.
6. An app that displays pictures of attractions that the users want to visit when they arrive in the vicinity of the attraction, since many tourists are not familiar with what certain locations look like, and they may be hard to find especially in congested areas.
7. Nightlife: app that helps foregin users locate local bars, clubs, and other popular nightlife spots.
8. Culturally Aware Clock: app that gives visitors a better sense about the concept of time in the presiding culture of their current location (i.e. some cultures always arrive late, others early, different colloquial definitions of "now").
9. App that lets visitors meet up with native speakers in a local area to have a language exchange.
10. App that allows visitors to meet up with locals so that visitors can learn about the city they are visiting from the perspectives of the locals.
11. Language Avatar: app that lets the user digitally practice the local language of the place he or she is visiting with an interactive avatar.
12. App that displays cooking recipes on a smartwatch so that cooking steps are just a glance away, and can also display local recipes when visiting a new location (could potentially lead to local cooking classes for visitors).
13. High Feature Compass: a compass application for the watch interface, which allows the user to conveniently navigate without having to having to reach or fumble for a physical compass, which is bother in situations such as backpacking trips.
14. A compass app that helps people face mecca for prayer when traveling.
15. Wilderness Immersion Reminder: an application that sternly reminds the user to enjoy his or her time in the wilderness by displaying the reminder on a smartwatch whenever the user tries to access applications related to entertainment or social media on either the watch or phone while the user is participating in an outdoors trip.
16. Wildlife Guide: an application that allows the user to take pictures of unknown wildlife, and uses image recognition to identify the wildlife and provide the user with facts about the wildlife in question.
17. Star Identifier: an application that displays a constellation chart on the watch interface to assist the user in identifying constellations when stargazing, and is optimized to cause as little distraction as possible in the dark environment compared to a brightly lit smartphone.
18. Messaging app: Unique messaging that uses mesh networks instead of traditional centralized cell towers for communication, which is very useful in underdeveloped areas where speedy cell towers are less common.
19. Emergency Survival Guide: an application that displays information on watch interface on how to survive in critical situations while outdoors, in the event that the user comes across an unexpected dangerous situation while outdoors and does not know how to respond.
20. Body Temperature/Heart Rate Monitor: an application that monitors the user's body temperature and heart rate, warns the user when his or her body temperature or heart rate is rising or dropping to dangerous levels, and alerts emergency services to the user's location once the user's body temperature or heart rate rises or drops past a critical threshold.
21. Knot Tying Guide: an application that displays step-by-step instructions on how to tie different types of knots on the watch interface, which is useful in the outdoors and handy since both hands are occupied during the knot tying process.
22. Sun Safety: an application that determines the temperature of the user's location and in conjunction with the user's activity levels (determined through the heart rate monitor), issues reminders to the user via vibration to drink water and apply sunscreen to avoid dehydration and sunburn.
23. (Expanded off of idea 22) A safety app that warns people about areas where they are at risk for excessive sun exposure, and tells them how to prepare for such locations if they cannot be avoided.
24. A safety application that warns users about any environmental hazards in their location, which can be especially useful in the outdoors where such hazards are not always obvious.
25. An application that prevents people from getting lost outdoors by interacting with beacons placed in trees along routes. The beacons mark the edges of the route the users should be following, and if the application detects that the user strays too far from the route via beacon, it will notify the user to get back on track.
26. Pacing Utility: an application, based on the length of the route the user plans to traverse, elevation changes on the intended route, the user's fitness level, and how strenuous the user wants his or her experience to be, tells the user the pace in which he or she should move at to finish the traversing the route in the shortest amount of time while avoiding exhaustion too early on.
27. Friend Tracker: application that prevents members in large groups from being separated or wandering off by issuing warnings to all members when someone has moved further away than the maximal allowed distance from the group and also issues warnings to members that have gotten separated to make them aware.
28. Family Attraction Decision Maker: app that takes in everyone's preferences for having a fun time and finds an appropriate attraction to visit that can make everyone happy.
29. (Expanded off of idea 28) Wrist Itinerary: a smartwatch app that lets members in a group/family update their itinerary and synchronizes them with all members so that everyone knows what everyone else is up to.
30. (Expanded off of idea 29) Itinerary Coordinator: an application that helps members in a group better find and plan times for group activities, such as food and transportation.
31. Vacation Mode: app that helps users relax during vacation by preventing them from checking emails or messages relating to work, and tells other people who try to contact the users on vacation to "do not disturb".
32. Vacation Family Therapy: app that helps families resolve common family issues that may arise during the duration of their trip, such as disagreements between parents on what to do, or fighting amongst children during long car rides.
33. Sleep Lag Calculator: app that advises users when to sleep and wake up to avoid the effects of jet lag, and can send vibration reminders to help them stay alert when they should be awake and reminders to go to bed when they should be sleeping.
34. One-Button Taxi: application that helps drunk tourists get back to their hotel/hostel with minimal struggle by letting them call a taxi with a single push of a button.
35. Application that allows users to compare the local prices of transportation (Uber, Lyft, taxi) to allow them to find the cheapest alternative and prevent them from potentially overpaying.
36. (Expanded off of idea 35) App that aggregates open housing information among local hotels, hostels, and Airbnb listings to help users who do not already have a reservation to easily find a place to stay.
37. App that shows local traffic conditions to users and notifies them of any traffic-related changes and updates to help them avoid traffic congestions on their commute.
38. An app that contains all of a user's ID information (driver's license, passport) so that the user does not have to physically carry around such important documents.
39. Bump Information Exchanger: an application that allows users to bump smartwatches with each other to exchange contact information, such as phone number, email, and social media information.
40. Bumped Into: social app/visualizer that helps the user keep track of everyone he or she has met or ran into, and shows a map of where the user encountered all these people.
41. Currency converter app to helps people keep track of spending in a foreign currency by showing how much they are spending in their native currency.
42. Long Term Backpacking Budgeter: an application that allows to keep track of his or her budget while in a foreign country by allowing the user to enter his or her purchases into the application and displaying how much money to user has left in his or her native currency.
43. Bill Splitter: application that calculates how a bill should be split among a group of people when paying for a meal, and can be linked to money transfer services such as Paypal or Venmo to automate payments in the case that one person foots the bill.
44. Applications that contains short, simple games that can be played between people in line/on road trips to keep them occupied in an otherwise boring situation.
45. Travel log app that lets users narrate their journey by voice, so that they do not have to spend time writing things down and can easily look back on their memories by listening to their own documentation.
46. App that displays common travel scam warnings in the area a traveler is in so that naive travelers, who are unfamiliar with the local territory, are aware of what to avoid.
47. Pickpocket Prevention: an app that digitally links a user's wallet with his or her phone so that the user will be warned via phone when he or she has been pick-pocketed.
48. An app that warns travelers about dangerous zones to avoid in their current location or future destinations, such as locations of high crime activity, etc.
49. Emergency services contact app that notifies a user's relatives and friends back at home if the user is in trouble while aboard and needs immediate help.
50. Zombie Run Explorer Edition: Similar to the Zombie Run app which helps make people's run more interesting by mimicking that they are being chased by zombies via audio immersion; this adaptation will bring the experience to the international level and encourages travelers to “run” from zombies while exploring the city.
51. A free running app in which users can share their free run routes with other users around them and try out other people's routes for themselves.
* Sketches for all three ideas are included in the "Sketches" portion above.
Tourist Heat Map
Why We Liked This Idea: The tourist heatmap provides a list of attractions in a local city and a heatmap of where other tourists are most commonly found. The more popular the tourist attraction, the redder the location on the map. The tourist heat map was chosen because it helps travelers discover attractions in new locations, and helping smaller local attractions gain more exposure. With the heatmap, users may be able to ditch the itinerary all together.
Target User Group: The tourist heatmap targets tourists who want to avoid tourist traps or places with high tourist foot traffic. Our target user wish to discover attractions off the beaten path. Such tourists seek to find a more authentic, less commercially packaged experience from their vacation. Such heatmaps may also be used by traditional tourists, who seek to know which attractions are the most popular and well established.
Problem Description & Context: When tourists visit a foreign country, cultural representations are often skewed by commercial interests. Many tourists have complained about not having an authentic experience from their travels. In addition, at many locations, there may be many popular tourist attractions, and the large selection of attractions can be overwhelming. Creating an itinerary to visit all possible attractions can be difficult and stressful.
Complementary Solutions: Most travel apps focus on aiding travelers in developing an itinerary for their trips. However, there exist some apps that focus on impulse decisions during travel. Booking Now gives personalized accommodation recommendations based on a user's current location. It is used for travelers making a spontaneous vacation and do not have adequate time to track down a hotel. Peek is an app that encourages impromptu activities by travelers. Peek tracks the user's location to suggest activities and experiences nearby, additionally providing prices and availability of the recommendations. This app is both useful for the traveler in a foreign country, or a person at home trying to do fun activities in their community. SightsMap provides a web interface that plots a heatmap of tourists.
Mobile App Justification: This app focuses on adding improvisation to traveling. This is accomplished by the users making decisions on the fly. The user may be in a car, on a bike, on a train, on foot, or any other form of transit. A mobile application is easily accessible in these states of movement. A user can conveniently access the app through a portable friendly smartphone or smartwatch. These items can comfortably be carried by travelers, especially for users who like to travel light. A laptop would be inconvenient to carry around and constantly open to view the map, especially when on foot. The use of the desktop app would be a heavy nuisance.
Smartwatch Justification: This app relies on using a map to get around a foreign country. The users need constant access to the map for successful travel to a particular location. A smartwatch allows for quick, convenient access to the map. The user can glimpse at his wrist and know exactly where his location is in relation to his destination. This action will most likely occur every few minutes. The user can try to use a smartphone to do this, but constant retrieval of the phone may prove bothersome, especially including the time to unlock the phone and select the app. The persistent use of the app lends itself to a quick lookup system provided by the watch, in lieu of the more involved process of viewing the map via a smartphone.
User Validation: I talked to two people that both travel to foreign countries annually. One was a thirty year old female who recently vacationed in Europe. She said she liked the concept of the app, but did not want to use it internationally. She said being in a foreign country can sometimes be uncomfortable, and having a set itinerary of what to do and where to go makes her feel more secure in an unknown environment. However, she said that this app would be useful for road trips. She takes road trips with friends and family, but she sometimes finds them long and dull. Having spontaneous rest breaks with suggestions found through the heat map app would be a nice way to add excitement to a sometimes monotonous trip. The other person said he liked the app, but he would not use it to choose places to visit. Instead, he would use the app to avoid busy tourist attractions. He does not enjoy the crowds of tourists when in foreign countries. Instead, he enjoys the parts of the foreign country that refrain from tourists, and allow him to immerse himself in the culture of the foreign land.
Sleep Lag Calculator
Why We Liked This Idea: We decided to pick this idea because jet lag is common and frustrating problem for many travelers. Jet lag can prevent people from making the most out of their time and can impact their judgement in a foreign place. Having an application that helps travelers assimilate to different zones as quickly as possible makes vacations more fun and work trips more productive.
Target User Group: One target user group would be people who travel often across different time zones, either for recreational or business purposes, since they are the ones who deal with jet lag most frequently and can benefit from such an app. Brief research into U.S. travel statistics show that the average age of both leisure and business travelers is in the mid-40s, which makes sense since people are most likely to be financially capable or well-established in their careers at that age to afford being able to travel on a regular basis. Such people would want a sleep schedule laid out for them to help them adjust to their destination's different time zones beforehand, so that when they arrive they can be alert and focused instead of groggy and sleepy. More research is needed to understand how well this population of people manages sleep lag. If it seems like this user group already has solid knowledge about sleep lag management, we may target users who are less experienced, new travelers that rarely have to adjust to new timezones.
Problem Description & Context: A familiar problem for people who have traveled across time zones is dealing with the effects of jet lag. If not accounted for, jet lag, in addition to making people feel sleepy, will render them unalert, unfocused, and stressed, which in turn may lead to poor decision making - definitely not ideal while abroad and in unfamiliar territory. For leisure travelers, this could mean difficulties socializing with the local culture, and for business travelers, this could render them unable to do their job. Obviously the bigger the jump between time zones, the more susceptible people are to jet lag, and as people grow older, they may take longer to recover and adjust to local time. Many people are unfamiliar with jet lag alleviating techniques and try to combat the effects of jet lag by trying to sleep a bit more on the plane or ingesting more caffeine, but not only do these "solutions" avoid solving the underlying problem regarding their body's circadian rhythm, they may also make their jet lag worse. Thus, to minimize jet lag, travelers should ideally adjust their sleep schedule days before they are scheduled to travel so that their bodies have time to gradually adjust to their destination's local time.
Complementary Solutions: A quick search shows that the most popular solution that exists in an application called "Jet Lag Rooster", available on the web and on both Android and iOS platforms. Based on the locations the user is traveling to and from, what their usual sleep schedule is like, and when they plan to adjust to the time zone of their destination (before arrival, after departing, or after arrival), the application will generate a recommended sleep schedule that tells the user when the ideal time to start sleeping is and when the user should expose him or herself to light, helping users adjust their circadian rhythms in the context of their individual circumstances.
Mobile App Justification: A mobile app would be very convenient since people nowadays will almost always have a phone with them compared to not always being in front of a computer. Having a mobile app enables users to view and plan their activities around their recommended sleep schedules on the go, and the app can also help auto set alarms and push notifications to remind users when they should be going to sleep, waking up, exposing themselves to sunlight, or staying in the dark. People, as busy as they are nowadays, will more than likely forget their adjusted sleep schedules should be like, especially since they are unfamiliar with them, so having such information stored in the phone for convenient reference and having an app help remind users of their schedule will be of tremendous help.
Smartwatch Justification: A smartwatch app would complement the mobile app very well since the smartwatch is an interface that is always readily visible to the user. Avoiding jet lag is a very time-sensitive procedure, since it requires people to sleep and expose/avoid light at certain times throughout the day, so it is critical for such people to know when they should be doing what. A phone is not always the best solution for reminders since they can go unnoticed if the phone is on silent or the user doesn't physically have the phone at the moment a notification arrives, so the user may fail to follow their intended sleep schedule as a result. The smartwatch solves these problems since it is always on your wrist, which means you are more likely to see reminders as they appear. The Moto 360 we will be working with has a haptic motor which allows the user to receive silent feedback, so this feature can be taken advantage of to get the user's attention to ensure he or she receive the reminders regarding his or her sleep schedule. It could vibrate to wake users up at the appropriate time according to their schedule. The smartwatch can sense bodily movement. If the watch senses that a user is falling asleep too soon according to their schedule, it could vibrate to keep users awake. Such reminders and bodily tracking would be less easily achieved on a smartphone.
User Validation: I reached out to two of my friends who had recently returned from Japan to ask them what they thought about our Jet Lag Calculator idea. Both of them are males, ages twenty-two and twenty-three, and the first had just recently graduated while the second is pursuing his Master's degree. They stayed in Japan for two weeks for recreational purposes, such as sightseeing and eating authentic Japanese cuisine. Both of them found the idea of a Jet Lag Calculator to be very interesting, and both were willing to try out such an app if the opportunity to do so arose. They said jet lag didn't bother them too much since they had plenty of time to recover given the duration of their trip, but the effects of jet lag (such as grogginess and irritability) was nevertheless not fun to deal with, and the effects would have had a much more significant impact if their trip was shorter. One of them mentioned that in less than twenty-four hours upon arriving back in California, he had to start at his first day at his new job, so he was exceptionally tired since it was impossible to adjust back to local time in such a short period. As a result, on his way to work he had a biking accident, which was a result of being unfocused. He admitted that having an app that could of helped him adjust back to the California's time zone before he returned would have minimized the exhaustion he felt from jet lag, which in turn would have prevented that accident from happening.
Long Term Backpacking Budgeter
Why We Liked This Idea: One of the most stressful parts about traveling is money. Often money holds people back from enjoying their vacation or time abroad. Financial concerns pull people out of the escape that they are seeking to enjoy during vacation. With a simple budgeting application, users can offload this task to their phones and watches. The program will guide them to spend at a rate that matches their means, saving them from the arduous bookkeeping that plagues many vacations.
Target User Group: Our target user group would be young backpackers. Although this application can help a variety of users, young people generally have more monetary constraints. By a variety of factors, including by lack of experience budgetting or just simply having less cash, younger backpackers generally have the most difficulty managing their travel funds. Of young travelers, backpackers often have the most difficult budgets as their daily expenditures can vary greatly. Backpackers want to get the most out of their experience by the cheapest means possible and so are an ideal target group.
Problem Description & Context: A problem for travelers alike is that they start out with a large sum of money designated for their trip, say $1000. Throughout their time away, it is easy to fall susceptible to spending $4 on a coffee, $15 on lunch, $80 on the hotel, $20 on souvenirs, etc. until a few day into their trip, they realize they have spent a good chunk of their money. It is so easy to get caught up in spending when you know you have a large amount to spend from. However, the key to have your money last the entire duration of your trip is to budget wisely. This is a skill that many people do not possess. Backpackers especially need this skill so that they can accomplish all that they want to and not worry about having to stop their journey and make plans. In addition, as backpackers travel through many different countries with different exchange rates, and with different costs of living, budgetting can become very complex and unpredictable. Money availability can influence where a backpacker will go and what they will do, so it is an important aspect of their trip.
Complementary Solutions: There are many budgeting applications that already exist. A popular tracker is Mint, a personal finance tracker created by Intuit. However, many of these scope the broad aspect of finance and not travel budgeting. For example, Mint is linked with all my bank accounts so that I can keep on eye on how much money I have in each account. It also shows me where my money is going, reminds me of bills I have to pay, etc. There is also the simple pen and paper budgeting in which a traveler may keep track of his or her finances through a daily journal.
Mobile App Justification: This idea would be convenient on a mobile application because it would require less work from the traveler, who is probably more focused on enjoying his or her time away than on his or her finances. Instead of having to carry a journal around, they can log their finances in a simple mobile application. This would be more convenient because backpackers prefer to travel light. Therefore, travelers would be able to have their budgeting already planned out on their phone, an item that they would already be bringing with them. A regular desktop or web application would not be viable in this case because most of them will not bring their laptops with them on their travels and will not have access to many computers.
Smartwatch Justification: A smartwatch would be a good solution to the problem because backpackers are always on the go! With all their traveling, it is easy to lose and misplace items. A phone could easily get lost within their giant backpack and would be very difficult to obtain when they are in need of it. In addition, amongst hostels, bars, and the many other locations backpackers explore, they could easily get their phone stolen. If they do not want it to get lost within their backpack and have their mobile phone in their pockets or outer pockets of their backpack, they are suspect to pickpocketing. A smartwatch would be readily available during their travels and always on their person, so it would be difficult to lose. Smartwatches are also present at the point of purchase, so users can always have a view of their budget when considering purchases. It is always ready to join them on their journey.
User Validation: I have talked to two people in my study abroad program. Both are currently in Lisbon doing internships. One is a twenty year old male who just arrived about a week ago. Another is a twenty-two year old female who has been in Portugal for a month now and is going to stay for two more months. Both agree that a budgeting application would prove extremely helpful. The male user mentioned that he has had many friends who have “blown their money.” The female user said she would use the application herself, seeing as she spent a large sum of money during her first month in Portugal and is worried she may not have enough to sustain her remaining two months.
Team Name: Just In Time Development (JITD)
Team Members: Ianto Xi, Tatiana Ferreyra, David Ju, Josef Nunez
Goals: The individual personal goals that members of our team have are to get a good grade in the course, to develop a good understanding of how to develop a mobile application, to help better humanity, to improve healthcare for underserved populations, and to understand how different design choices will impact the end user experience. As a team, we are motivated to develop ourselves as a highly functional and efficient team, and recognize that we all have different strengths and weaknesses which will allow us to work together and help each other out throughout this process. Given the knowledge we will obtain and skills we will acquire in this class, we fully believe that these goals are definitely achievable by the end of this course. We plan to scale the features of our final product, once we establish what that will be, to be within our resources and time constraints. We will consider ourselves successful if users find the end product that we create to be an app that is aesthetically beautiful, useful, functional, helps saves people time, and inspires joy when used. Our group will be more than satisfied to know that users can interact with our final product in an engaging and helpful manner, and if we can deliver to them such a pleasing user experience, we will consider ourselves successful.
Roles: We have agreed that deliverables will be distributed based on the consensus of the whole team with each assignment. Group members are encouraged to ask others for help if they find that the tasks they are assigned turn out to require more work than expected, and it is strongly emphasized that we are here to support each other as a team. Tatiana and Ianto, both being more design-oriented, will tend to take on deliverables that require heavy design work. Josef, having a strong statistical background, will tend to handle the quantitative and computational aspects of the project. Everyone will contribute to the programming aspects of this project, but since David is more programming-oriented, he will tend to handle a more significant portion of such work compared to other members. Everyone will be involved in testing, with Josef and Ianto being responsible in testing on the physical devices that they own. Since our team members are a mixture of different strengths and weaknesses, we predict that everyone will eventually depend on everyone else throughout this project and we will work to be responsive and respectful of each other's time and contributions.
Team Procedures: The decision process our team operate by is through consensus. Since we do anticipate on being able to have enough time during class to discuss everything we need to, team meetings outside of class time is encouraged. During meetings, a group member will volunteer as scribe to record meeting minutes and send it out the group afterwards. To ensure that the meetings make the most effective use out of everyone's time, members will contribute to a meeting agenda beforehand so that everyone can over the discussion topics and have ideas ready to bring to the table. Although we do not anticipate going off track, a facilitator will be chosen if necessary to keep the discussions relevant to the topics at hand. Conversations at group meetings should remain respectful and productive, with the task-at-hand considered the greatest priority. We will be using Slack for group communication and Github for storage of all work materials. For meetings, our team has decided that the best times for us to gather outside of class to work are weekday evenings after 5PM and weekends.
Relationships: After some discussion, we have found that the members of our group are similarly disciplined. We are fully capable of setting and meeting deadlines that are set throughout a project, and we also share similar learning styles with a preference for initially working alone and figuring systems out for ourselves, and then turning to group members for help and advice when stuck. We are all intelligent individuals who can handle different opinions, and we recognize that criticisms that we may give and receive from each other are not meant to put each other down, put to help each other improve and get better. If we do encounter differences later in the semester, we will settle those differences in a mature and productive manner, aiming for mutual understanding and self-growth.
Contributions: Everyone helped brainstorm and contribute to the 50 ideas listed. Ianto completed the sketches, while Tatiana, David, and Josef each wrote a complete project description for each one of the three ideas. Everyone helped proofread each other's work to catch and fix any mistakes that may have been made. David was responsible for uploading the final submission on Hackster.