Newcastle Startup Week
Interactive Conference Guide App
Over the last two years, Nebula Labs has collaborated with Paul Lancaster of Plan Digital UK, organiser of Newcastle Startup Week to develop an interactive location-based mobile app for delegates to use throughout this week long event.
The front end mobile app was developed using the hybrid Ionic framework so that the app could cater for both iOS and Android users. In addition, a web-backed Customer Management System (CMS) was designed as part of the backend application which allowed the event organisers to login and dynamically change the schedule and running order as required, as well as view analytics on session attendance and venue attendance by users.
As an events app, we wanted to develop a number of features to significantly enhance the user’s experience of Newcastle Startup Week. At the core of this, was the real-time updated schedule, which displayed all the upcoming daytime and evening events. The ability to select specific events from the schedule to ‘Add to Favourites’ helped users effectively manage their festival experience and easily view the events they preferred to attend. Attendees were able to keep up to date with the latest events and discussions at the festival, with Twitter and Instagram integration.
One of our technical achievements in this project was the development of a unique heat mapping tool. This displayed the areas of Newcastle populated by festival attendees. Using real time location data, it pseudo-anonymously tracks user movements and displays their current position in a non-identifying manner if they were within a venue’s geofence. This was represented by the ‘heat’ of the map. The greater the ‘heat’, the more populated the area was. A bespoke algorithm was formulated and implemented using Typescript and the Python programming language. Rigorous testing was conducted to ensure that the heat map functioned properly, and that the precise real-time location of users was sufficiently obfuscated, to ensure user anonymity.
Conducted for utilisation in a hybrid mobile application, this work is groundbreaking. Little work had been conducted manipulating location data for this purpose, for this form of mobile software, before this project.