I’m interested in discussing development of a product for use by leisure travelers. Any app developers who want in, please contact me. Here’s my basic idea:
Utilizing GPS technology, I want to make a product which can be used by travelers to “capture the moment.” With a simple synchronization through wireless connection or USB to an individual’s blog, or to travel sites such as tripadvisor, the program will capture routes, photos, video, ratings of scenes, restaurants, hotels, tours, or other tourist activities in a personalized journal.
Basically, it’s an APP for I-Phones, Blackberries, or other devices. For people who don’t want to carry around their phones on their kayak trip or hike in the northern woods, resorts and rental locations will provide the small, waterproof, shockproof, handheld device for a nominal fee. On returning the device to the rental shop, the renting company can sync it and upload the file to the person’s account, email it, or load it onto Facebook. Or, it can be hooked up to a laptop in the hotel room.
Some key features I’d like to see include everything google maps offers on my Blackberry Storm, including Search, directions by walking, transit, and car, plus active route tracking, to ensure your position is shown in the center of the screen. Here’s a scenario assuming you have a Travelog device rather than a Blackberry:
Drive relatively aimlessly through the back roads of Northern Michigan toward Traverse City on a fall color tour. At the beginning of the trip, select “record trip,” then save the file, with either an auto-name, or by selecting a name by letter selection (similar to our boat’s GPS). You see an old hand-pump water fountain at a rest area, and you stop to take a picture of it. Simply click the camera button on the side of the travelog, and snap the picture. Allow it to auto-save, and it captures the time and GPS location of the pump. Cool.
Since you’re tired, select LODGING on the menu, then FIND. The travelog will highlight your choices within the ‘view’ you have selected on the screen. You’ve zoomed out so the screen shows 25 miles from your center point, and the screen shows that there are 3 hotels. You can scroll a pointer on the screen to select the closest hotel or select it from a list with a simple click. The system will give you the option of identifying directions to the hotel and provide a description, just like (or USING) Google maps. Once you get to the hotel, you see it’s uninhabitable. You didn’t even pull in, and sat in awe on the roadside. Select LODGING, (system finds the hotel) then RATE. Select APPEARANCE from the menu, and rate it a 1 out of 5. You can tag the site for comment later, or if you need to, select letters to identify…HOLE IN ROOF, FLOODED.
So you’re off to the next hotel, which happens to be in Traverse City. Once there, it looks beautiful, so you check in. The fireplace in the lobby looks so inviting, you snap a picture of it. The photo is automatically tagged as being in the hotel you’ve chosen, and again you can rate it, maybe under RATE-DECOR. You gave it a 5, and no comment required, since you snapped a picture which says it all.
After settling in, you go to the restaurant that’s part of the resort. Click, Click, Click, you rate the wine, food, and service. The system knows where you are. After a nightcap, you’re off to bed. Room, bed, cleanliness, layout, pillows, are all rated if you have energy left.
The next day, you take a wine tour up the Old-Mission peninsula, rating the wines, tasting rooms, and capturing a winemaking demonstration on video. After taking a side trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes, you decide to take a walk through the Manitee National Forest. Using the trails marked on the travelog, you traverse an hour or two through the woods, snapping pictures and taking video of the natural beauty of Northern Michigan.
After returning to the Hotel, you decide to end the Journal, since you’re checking out and going home tomorrow. Simply plugging in the USB to your laptop opens the Travelog application which allows you to upload your route, your ratings, your pictures & video, or any combination of these according to your preferences. Since you’re a regular blogger on tripadvisor, you decide to upload your restaurant and hotel observations to their site, and provide a full ‘scrapbook’ file to your facebook, which outlines your route by date/time, marks key waypoints where you captured pictures or ratings, and easily displays what type of locations you stopped at (hotel, winery, restaurant…). The trip is saved in a nice online album you can view as a slideshow at any time.
I’m open to any comments or suggestions. It really sounds like something Google should already have, but if not, it’s a Transivit original. I’d love to discuss this with anyone who has the technical capabilities to commercialize something like this (and is interested in providing the Capital needed!).