TransiTap, an Experiment with Mobile Location DataBy LABS — March 29, 2013 - 2:54 pm
Approaches to data collection and utilization are dominating the conversation about the future of customer experiences, but often in the context of combining datasets from many individuals to create a single experience that will benefit many. This conversation is absolutely relevant, but we also must consider the utilization of personal data to create an experience tailored to its owner specifically.
TransiTap is an experiment in utilizing up-to-the minute personal cellular location data to ease the mental pain of an extended commute.
New York City is not the home but instead the destination of many who come to work here every day. As a large agency we’re no exception, and the LABS group noticed a consistent problem for many of those who travel by way of public transportation. For those commuters who had a considerable distance to travel, there was a strong possibility that if they travelled later in the evening they might miss their stop, thus making an already tiresome journey even more stressful.
We wanted to alleviate that stress while still allowing those individuals to mentally detach from their commute, and for this we turned to the GPS location data from their mobile phone.
When the user starts the app, it recognizes their current location and asks them to select their destination which they can do by finding it on a map or typing in an address, and then how are away from that destination they want to be alerted that their stop is near.
Additionally, we included New Jersey Transit data to allow users to more easily select their stop from a list of transit routes. This adds to the utility of the app because busses will often not stop unless signaled to do so.
From here, the app runs in the background on the phone and once it approaches the desired notification point alerts the user with a sound and vibration, giving them ample time to collect their belongings and exit safely.
We understand that commuters have enough on their minds already, so we built TransiTap to carry the burden of getting them home.