Tourism is a great source of economic upheaval for communities. Unfortunately, most of the money made doesn't go into the economy but to foreign bodies. As this is one of the targets for the UN's SDG 8, it was clear that something must be done to shine a spotlight on the local tourist attractions in a community,
What it does
- Tour helps you find local “unexpectedly fun places” anywhere you want to travel and helps the local "unexpectedly fun places" be found!
- The city you choose will have local attractions that will help you grow the local community.
- Give Tour your budget to filter through places you can afford.
- With a fun gamification, walk around the different attractions in a city and learn about the details of that place
- Add the places you like to your trip plan
- Once you actually get to the attractions, there's are trophies for you to try to win by doing certain things like lodging in a local resort or buying the local food.
- From within the app, take a picture of where you are with our fun SparkAR filter and share it with your friends.
- Start a conversation with the local attraction right from the app (Messenger).
- You could also start a conversation with us if you have any problems with the app via our Messenger bot:
- As a local attraction, you can loads of data about who's interested in your place and who's posting pictures by simple conversing with our Messenger Bot app: https://www.messenger.com/t/matanoofficial
- Now it's your time to feel great because you just help a community grow by visiting them!! :)
Managing bot app
*The idea is to create a complement messaging app that will be used by place owners or managers. *They will be able to get statistics about daily visitors and their accomplishments. *They can share photos and create events. *They will get notification whenever someone plan a trip in their location. *They can create new challenges and rewards *Here is a link to access the messaging app (m.me/matanoofficial)
How we built it
- We separated into 2 teams: FrontEnd and BackEnd
- We started by creating the Unity app and then added branding like logo and icon
- The BE started looking into the GraphQL integration with the PlacesAPI and storing User details
- We then move on to creating the SparkAR filter and Message bot
Thank you, Facebook
One of our key goals for Tour is for it to be scalable and sustainable. Luckily for us, Facebook allows us to do just that in so many ways. PlacesAPI: We used the Facebook Places API to quickly gain information about different places in a region. Without this, we would have had to manually hardcode each attraction. Also, the Places API allows it to be easy for any attraction that is not currently on our map, to get on it. Simply by registering their place with Facebook
Graph: Facebook's Graph API enabled us to get a lot of information about places on the fly. It also allows tourist attractions to determine what shows in the Tour app by simple editing their Facebook pages. This created a seamless experience for the tourist and the tourist attraction. Also, the GraphAPI allowed us to find the user's friends and make this a very social experience.
SparkAR Studio: Working with AR is no easy business. But using the SparkAR Studio, we could quickly and effectively create an AR effect that drives engagement with the app from the users. The ability to use a URL to open the Facebook Camera also enabled us to implement taking AR pictures from the app.
Messenger: Messenger allowed us not only find a beautifully conversational manner for tourist attractions to get feedback data from Tour, it also bridged the gap between the tourists and the tourist attractions by enabling the tourist start a conversation with the attraction from the app.
Facebook-Unity SDK: Facebook's Unity SDK allowed us to use all the amazing capabilitie of the Graph, within Unity. This allowed for us to create the Tour client app entirely within Unity!
Challenges we ran into
0, you guys have been so amazing unblocking us at every step of the way. Its so amazing to meet the actual engineers who work on these amazing products and find out they are all humans like us :)
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Our unity app is so rad!
- We were able to publish our Spark AR filter to the world!!! [Try it (www.facebook.com/fbcameraeffects/tryit/527457647783604/)
- Our Message bot, try it here: https://www.messenger.com/t/matanoofficial
- Submitted an application to be part of the instagram beta creator program
What we learned
What's next for Tour
Integrate with many local attractions around the world! Especially in under develop areas
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