Inspiration

The motivation for us was to develop something that could be accessible easily by anyone and can plan and assist in the best possible way to spend a few hours of one's time. When it comes to something that can be easily accessible to anyone the first thing that came across our mind was a personal assistant or a chatbot.

What it does

This FB messenger chatbot interacts with the user whenever it is prompted to by the user and asks for the user for his current location. Based on this it gives a suggestion of 10 possible places to visit based on the ratings of the places. To add a personal touch the bot uses the information of the user's friends who visited and liked these places in order provide a concise list of places matching the user's tastes and interests. These could restaurants or sight-seeing places, etc. It shows the places and the user can select what to be on the list and what not and based on this final list it generates a google map showing the optimal route and order in which the places need to be visited enhancing the user's experience.

How we built it

We used various APIs made available by Facebook and Google. We built the bot using Java, Javascript, JSON and RESTful APIs, viz., google-maps-api, google-places-api, google-directions-api and facebook-graph-api.

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge was to make the interaction with bot friendly and enhance the user experience with images and human-like interaction. Other challenges were to figure out what APIs to use, how to use them, hosting it on AWS and integrating all these things with the bot.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The fact that realizing this idea and having working prototype is something we take pride in. Other personal accomplishments include learning to use APIs available out there to build something useful and completing the task with a great team spirit.

What we learned

Using the various APIs, learning their functionality and working by reading the documentations and integrating them with already known technologies like Java, JSON and Javascript.

What's next for TraVelocity

The bot is still just a prototype and as of now it can deal with only one type of input data like restaurants or tourist places, etc. We would like to expand its capabilities so that it can take various types of input types and maybe plan a whole vacation for the user.

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