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The smartphone makes it possible to experience at least part of a place before we ever arrive, as well as tailor our experiences exactly to our taste. With proper planning and a mobile phone full of apps, travelers can plot out the restaurants they will enjoy, the day of time they will take in a certain site, and how many people will be there when they arrive.
The mystery these apps take out of travel is replaced with organization and expectations — as long as the battery doesn’t die.
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WhatsBusy taps into data to tell travelers and businesses when places are busy now and in the future. Travelers can use the platform to find the experience they seek, whether that be a quiet time to shop or a crowded bar. Business owners can predict how busy they will be in coming weeks and how nearby events will impact their traffic flow in order to manage inventory and staff.
SkiftTake: WhatsBusy distills a comprehensive set of data into an easy-to-use platform that’s useful to both consumers and businesses. A local search showed that it needs to add more businesses before becoming a widely used tool, but concept its definitely one that will resonate with any travelers that’s ever unwillingly dealt with crowds.
Yoogoin is a search engine for concerts in cities around the world. The website is still in beta, but promises users access to more than one million concerts in 34,000 cities.
SkiftTake: Ticketmaster only lists concerts in 18 countries and competitor Songkick lists several more locations with few concerts in each. Yoogoin’s growth depends on providing a one-top site for both large and small local concerts in cities around the world.
Wanderant is an interactive trip planner available online and via a mobile app. It features destination information, hotel booking, and a calendar for keeping track of plans. Wnaderant also sends relevant suggestions for travel logistics based on when and where users are located on the go.
SkiftTake: Clean design and a focus on travel logistics separates Wanderant from other aspirational trip planners. It exhibits an understanding of the habits of travelers with focus on desktop for planning and research with the app serving as an on-the-go complement.
Anywhere aims to make aspirational photos actionable by telling users where and when any photo was taken. The free iOS app will then explain to users how they can visit the exact location. It plans to build a community that can be used like Flickr’s creative commons and generate long-term revenue through an in-app ad platform.
SkiftTake: The concept is attractive to anyone whose ever surfed the web and wondered how they could get themselves to the beautiful landscape seen in a photo. Building a robust database of photographs will be Anywhere’s greatest obstacle with Flickr and 500px already sharing some information on photo locations.
Global Foodie gamifies eating abroad. The mobile app lists the most popular foods to eat in a country and awards users badges for trying new foods. The iOS app will launch in September 2013 with 200 foods in 10 countries.
SkiftTake: Global Foodie will have to eventually partner with local restaurants to give users actionable prizes for their adventurous palette. Until then, it’s information on a country’s top cuisine can likely be found in an other destination description.