The tourism industry is of course the industry most affected in this pandemic situation as countries around the world imposed travel restrictions. According to data from the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), hotel and restaurant industry has lost nearly Rp 70 trillion in revenue as leisure travel has come to a complete halt, while aviation and tour operators have lost Rp 15 trillion in revenue.
At the most popular tourism region in Indonesia, Bali, the number of unemployment rise by 4% YoY on August 2020. Chief of Presidential Staff of Indonesia, Moeldoko estimates the number of relieved tourism worker in Indonesia reach 13 million people due to covid.
On the other hand, We see that audiovisual content such as Netflix and Youtube is still unable to overcome people's boredom during quarantine and replace the role of tourism. People are already longing for the tourism experience they could normally have but still have fears and doubts about traveling after this pandemic. After analyzing the weakness of the existing media, we found that interactivity is the main problem. The audience demands more interactive and participatory content where they can get involved and get a more immersive experience.
This makes us think,
1. How might tourism experiences be offered through virtual means but still maintain interactivity and intimacy?
2. How can we make people experience the world without leaving their homes?
What it does
Choizy is interactive create-your-own-adventure virtual tour platform that allows viewers to choose and personalize their preferred itinerary by directly interacting with the audiovisual content. There are 3 main features offered by Choizy
Interactive Content Studio : Powerful and easy to use tool for content creators to make interactive video of virtual tour for their viewers. It also can be used to collaborate with other content creator. Just drag and drop your video and voila, it’s done!
Interactive Virtual Tour Experience : Viewers can interact with virtual tour video content, shape their own itineraries, and have an interactive media experience like never before. They can also communicate with other virtual tour participants.
Insightful Content Analytics : Choizy provides content analytics for content creators and brands to better understand their target market and audience preferences based on the choices they choose
What makes it outstanding
The value proposition offered by Choizy is choice-driven entertainment where there are 3 important components:
1. Redefining Virtual Tourism
Choizy enables active participation from viewers to set up their own itineraries by directly interacting with options offered in audiovisual content. Choizy offers a more intimate virtual tour experience between viewers and content creators.
2. Super Content
Choizy combines game, video, and survey elements into one complete package of narratives to engage with viewers.
3. Revitalize Tourism
Choizy help revitalize tourism by incorporating SME product to Choizy virtual traveling experience like how normal tourist would experience in pre covid situation. Choizy also open a new opportunity for local guide to offer a new digital tourism experience.
How we built it
Choizy Ecosystem does not just consist of one monolith server. We split it into multiple small services that cooperate with each other to build current Choizy Ecosystem. We choose to split it into multiple services so we can easily develop each service without impacting or changing other services and so we can scale the service easily.
Currently, Choizy Ecosystem is consisted of:
- Client Facing Application (Web UI)
- Content Create Dashboard (Web UI)
- Recommendation Service which internally calls our recommendation model (Backend Service)
- Streaming Service (Backend Service)
- Account Service (Backend Service)
- Content Analytics Service (Backend Service)
Choizy's frontend services are built using React.js to enable SPA (Single Page Application) easily and hence giving better user experience to our user. Choizy's backend services are built using Python3 with the help of FastAPI framework as modern and emerging Python Web Framework that is much more easier to develop while giving higher performance than Python's other Web Framework.
Challenges we ran into
- Coordinating and working effectively while developing our services remotely.
- Designing the data structure to create this interactive video and think of the way to render it smoothly to user.
- Making it seamless experience for user when interacting and watching our storybook videos.
- Designing architecture and interaction between each services and how to be able to scale our services when handling more user.
- Building seamless and easy-to-use video and storybooks editor for content creator to use.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We are proud that we manage to complete this project even though we only work remotely from 5 different cities. And we also very excited to deploy our platform to be used to help revitalize tourism sector.
What we learned
We learned how interactive media is really a future of entertainment. By using Choizy, the viewer will be more engaged with the content. We also aware that creating such an interactive content is more difficult and that's why we also create choizy studio to ease content creator to enter our platform. This engagement is also means a better result for sponsor and ads thus make sure choizy can also self sustain financially.
We learned how big the opportunity for interactive media in the world and how choizy truly change our view on what the definition of media is. We believe interactivity and participation based media like choizy can benefit from the condition of covid by leveraging people boredom to reduce market barrier of entry. Also by providing tourism based content, choizy able to help incentivize the tourism sector.
Choizy is a win-win solution product that give positive impact to multiple stakeholder
What's next for Choizy
Choizy is our first step towards creating a much more interactive and immersive media. Now, through the Choizy platform, users can experience a more interactive experience. However, it is still limited to PC or mobile screens, and the options are only a click or hand away. Seeing trends in VR technology over the next few years, we want to develop VR technology for Choizy so that viewers don't just see or click, but are able to provide input using gestures, or through other senses. Thus, the experience will feel more real, where users can feel firsthand through a broader visual, how the choices that users make determine the ending of the video they follow.