hitchON

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The following is one of the five top submissions to the 2011 USA Challenge. The North American regional contest in the European Satellite Navigation Competition(ESNC) is a global search for the newest, best and most innovative GNSS application ideas with €20,000 in prize money for the international winner, the 2011 Galileo Master.

hitchON

» Return to ESNC page

The following is one of the five top submissions to the 2011 USA Challenge. The North American regional contest in the European Satellite Navigation Competition(ESNC) is a global search for the newest, best and most innovative GNSS application ideas with €20,000 in prize money for the international winner, the 2011 Galileo Master.

hitchON

hitchON (formerly TravelEasy) is an innovative application for smartphones and tablets integrated with GNSS that provides travelers relevant information on their local surroundings wherever they go. Though many travel applications are currently on the market, hitchON differentiates itself through offering worldwide coverage as well as comprehensive and unique features.

The nine major features of hitchON include providing information on hotels, traffic, restaurants and cafes, attractions, transportation options, fuel,prices of goods and services without scanning barcodes, crime areas, and other nearby users using hitchON. A competitive analysis has shown that no current apps cover all such features and no phone app covers the specific features of providing crime information or local prices of goods and services.

hitchON acquires its data from multiple sources which includes third-party web services such as Yelp, TripAdviser, Poynt, and Wikipedia, as well as user-uploaded data and Navteq maps. Information duplication is handled through a user-rating system, which allows users to vote on the most reliable source of information. Using the PhoneGap framework, the coding of hitchON is greatly simplified through coding in HTML5/CSS/Javascript while concurrently circumventing cross-platform issues between different operating systems.

After the initial beta version hits the market within the next half year, hitchON will promote itself through social media and online blogs. Furthermore, a free “lite” version will be offered in addition to the full beta-version. This will enable prospective customers to have a basic package representative of the full capabilities of hitchON, which will convince some users to purchase the more advanced full software. The revenue stream of hitchON is not only from its advanced users. Advertisers, notably local businesses, can use hitchON as a platform to attract local residents and travelers.

With a development timeline of roughly nine months, a startup cost of ~$9000, and an overhead per annum of ~$200K, hitchON only requires moderate resources to hit the market. Undoubtedly, its affordability, convenience, uniqueness, and comprehensiveness will give it an edge over other apps in the travel application industry.

WHO DID IT?
Shen Ge, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University
Anish Bhattacharya, Goa Institute of Management, India
Tejal Thakore, aerospace engineer and member of YGNSS, currently working in the travel industry
Neha Satak, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University

FOR MORE INFO
Shen Ge’s e-mail: shenge86@gmail.com  and website

Learn about the other finalists:

True3D Volumetric HUD

TRANM

SMPTE/GNSS

Georeader

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