Flying used to be fun, but now has become stressful. Airports are full of frantic activity, from checking-in, to security clearance, to boarding, and then during the in-flight experience, people are pushed way beyond their physical comfort zone, leading to often unpleasant experience, most notably lack of privacy. Also, user doesn't want different solution, he will want a comprehensive app that solves the above end-to-end.
What it does
The above two problems are solved by giving a seamless experience right from the airport to the in-flight via a single App. At the airport, it shows point-by-point navigation to important areas, e.g security clearance, boarding gate, as well as other points of interest like refreshment area, public convenience etc. Inside the flight, enabled by a wearable device, the user is able to find a sense of space, and can enjoy his/her content, including in-flight entertainment enjoying the privacy as well as having a theatre like experience.
How I built it
We built the app using two core by interlinked technologies - AR and VR, built on top of a gaming engine and build into an .apk and tried and tested on android mobile device. The process was as important as the product, hence the workload was divided between two developers and one designer, scope outlined and prioritised, critical path made, and then executed to finish on time, and in full. The app is ready.
Challenges I ran into
A big challenge was how to simulate the terminal experience at the Hackathon. Also, for accurate geo-tagging and showing that information via AR, no beacon technology was available. The next best alternative was to use geographical mapping, again for which no map was available. Also, the project was quite ambitious in its scope (actually solving two problem statements in one), especially in the in-flight entertainment app, where we proposed 6 use cases (1. Game, 2. Multiplayer game, 3. Route viewing, 4. Emergency evacuation scenario, 5. Personal private theatre, and 6. Viewing inflight content) and timelines were very tight.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We solved the above problems in unique ways. The hackathon venue was geographically mapped with via area-learning and by scanning and making 3D model from the emergency evacuation floor plan, and then the AR solution was implement atop without use of any beacon technology etc. For the in-flight entertainment app - we were able to execute 4 out of 6 proposed use cases (the game, route viewing, personal theatre and in-flight content). We are especially proud of the team-work and the joint load sharing which resulted in such massive execution in such a short span of time.
What I learned
- We got to know some problems of the airline sector which we wouldn't have known otherwise. It is great to understand what exact consumer problems exist so that the right solution could be made. We also learnt about good design experiences as well as how we can leverage cloud capabilities to solve such problems, which we can apply to many other domains as well. We also go to know where the world is evolving in terms of emerging tech.
What's next for Enhance user experience at airport/in-flight via AR/VR
Next step is to actually embed the solution with the airlines/airport and validate the value offering and problem solution - thus achieve the product-market fit. If such a fit is found, then will look to scale the product, fine tune the business-revenue model, and raise capital to scale execution.