Coronavirus pandemic has massively decreased the economy in our country. One of the many industries affected by this phenomena is Romania's tourism, which has decreased between 60% and 90% since the beginning of the pandemic. These being said, we were eager to find a solution so we can attract tourists to places all around our beautiful country. To make that happen, we knew we needed something friendly, easy to use, helpful and effective to make tourists enjoy their free time as much as possible. And this is how our idea started to develop! Our first thought was building all the necesarry information and data about destinations and touristic places in just one application, but also to make easier booking a room or some seats when travelling or to find informations about a place at any time. This is how our project about the traveling app was born. After, many more ideas started to pop-up in our minds, so we took a notebook and wrote down every single idea. Every one of us participated at these brainstormming sessions where imagination has been the key element so far. We also needed a name about our application. For us, the perfect name was unique, meaningful, but related to the beauty of traveling and technology too. Most of the names we first thought of were already taken, so we tried to make an acronym out of a sentence/quote we found most appropiate to what our application does. This is how we chose TIMMY, which stands for "Travel Intelligent. Make Memories for Yourself."
What it does
The TIMMY application has been designed to be a virtual assistant in your trips to Romania. Whether it's a wild beach or the busiest center in the country, we have recommendations for you as well as real-time informations about those places with the help of AI and 5G technology. When you travel you can add to your favourites the places you visited. Now is when the Artificial Intelligence is doing its best to save your preferences and recommend you new places like the ones you liked before. Also, the AI will know when some places are more busy and when they are free, according to the day of the week or the hour. All of these and many others will be sent to you with the speed of the 5G internet technology. You can also arrange a visit to the museum or book seats at a restaurant in less than 30 seconds. With the help of RPA technology, the application will send to the location a text format with all the details, like date and hour, number of persons, your name and phone number. Then, shortly after you will be contacted (by phone) for confirmation. This way, you don't have to do anything else than answering 2 questions and pressing 2 buttons. Without any worries and inconveniences, your vacation will be much easier to plan and more enjoyable with TIMMY!
How I built it
During the process of our app's development, design was most required. After we chose a logo, a name and a motto for our project, we took some notes of every idea we came up with and we tried to do some drafts/sketches of the interface. After these things were done, we started designing using Canva. We shared between us our process on this platform, we improved every design of the interface, we made suggestions to each other until we got the best out of all we had. We tried to think of every detail: main menu, map, directions using Waze or Google Maps, variety of places (from restaurants and hotels to beauty centers), informations, pictures and places to visit in every destination, suggestions suitable to every user's prefferences, creating an account and adding reviews. Even though we had to add a lot of features, we always focused on keeping everything as simple and friendly as possible. After the design of the app was done, we had to put everything in order, so we could realise a good presentation for our project. For the presentation we used PowerPoint. To upload our presentation we needed a recording program to make a video out of our PowerPoint. We chose Bandicam for completing this job. The video was edited in Wondershare Filmora 9. Tasks were divided between our four members and every one of us did his best to reach the team's goal!
Challenges I ran into
The competitive market into this field was a challenge since there are many websites or apps that are offering alike information. Keeping this into account, we found an opportunity to develop the application by offering something more – an intelligent assistant who is up to date to all the cool places and to acces them in a friendly-user, interactive way. Also, we saw a challenge for the future of travelling, the worldwide tourism industry has been devastated by the global pandemic of Covid-19. Many of the city's attractions are eerily empty and in the post-pandemic period we have to adapt and reinvent this domain. We asked ourselves the question - How can the tourism industry recover? And we found the answer through this app.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
COVID-19 reality gave us the opportunity to innovate this area and defy the competitors. In addition, we took this chance to save tourism from collapse or, at least, to fight for it. Our main mission is to help and also have to attract as many people as possible, to provide services, to show all possibilities and conditions they could benefit from owners, to promote Romania's beautiful places, landscapes and people, but also to increase the Romania’s economy.
What I learned
By developing our project, we discovered that it doesn't matter how different you are, where you are from, you could achieve everything. You need to be ambitious to get over obstacles. We discovered more about our beautiful country, learned how tourism could revive again. Pushing our limits into hours of brainstorming and coming up with ideas were nice moments for all of us. We have also learnt a lot from each other’s experiences. We discovered many issues in Romanian tourism which made us work harder and harder and be more creative and, finally, completing the task with a sustainable solution. Also, we found that the teamwork makes the dream work!
What's next for TIMMY
In the future, we are going to target other countries too, especially Eastern Europe, encouraging tourism here. Nevertheless, we will update periodically the app with maps and new features to improve the quality of our services. We will contact companies for partnerships and advertising, such as Booking and Airbnb. Furthermore, there are many underrated remote zones in Romania, with a beautiful landscape and amazing sights. We are planning to bring the attention on them back and help villiages, hotels, restaurants and terraces to present their offerts easier for clients. In advance, reviews and suggestions for tourists will increase the interest of people, also photos and specific features are integrated for a better experience. Artificial Intelligence and RPA are very useful and important too in the procces of making reservations at restaurants or booking rooms at hotels, a struggle many people face and want to solve before leaving home and often takes a lot of time. Our App, TIMMY, will be your assistant during your trips and a wise advicer in taking all your further decisions. No more hurry during travelling! Now you can enjoy you trip and enjoy our suggestions regarding to restaurants, in order to have the perfect meal and atmosphere. Development: 6-12 months. Implementing: security, programming, web design development, graphic design development, AI tool, actualised world-wide maps based on GPS, RPA Tehnology.