Detour

Gorgeous location-aware audio walks

#3 Product of the DayFebruary 03, 2015

Reviews

 
  • Chad WhitakerProduct Designer at Product Hunt 👋
    Pros: 

    Hand down the best way to explore a new city!

    Cons: 

    Not available in every city, but they're always adding more.

    Last year when I visited San Francisco, my girlfriend and I did a Detour of the Castro neighborhood. We learned so much from its diverse history and ended the tour speechless with our jaws on the floor.

    • The audio tour syncs with everyone in your group, and it's so seamless.

    • The GPS tours are beautifully curated. You can tell they spend weeks to months on getting each tour perfect. Incorporating sounds and clips from the era you're experiencing.

    • Affordable: Each tour is just $5 for the entire group! Although, I personally believe they are well worth $5/person.

    Since moving to San Francisco, I try to do at least one tour each weekend. I love learning about the extensive history of all my surrounding neighborhoods. 😃

Discussion

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Andrew MasonMakerHiring@andrewmason · CEO Descript, former Detour / Groupon
Hi everyone, Andrew from Detour here, at your service. Here's a blog post about our launch: blog.detour.com/detour-now-available Also, we're giving a free Detour to the first 200 of you to use the magic code PRODUCTHUNT: http://me.detour.com/redeem I'll be lurking around to answer any questions you have!
✎ Andrew Warner@andrewwarner
@andrewmason small issue but still important. I forgot my password but the mobile page doesn't have a link to retrieve or reset it.
Andrew MasonMakerHiring@andrewmason · CEO Descript, former Detour / Groupon
@andrewwarner sorry Andrew - we only have password reset in the app right now! :-| I was trying to create a good example of MVP... yeah, that's the reason. If you download the app, you can reset your password from there.
Jonathan HowardHiring@staringispolite · Growth engineer & founder
@andrewwarner @andrewmason Possibly related? I went to the "Redeem" link above, signed in to my existing account, and it forwarded me to https://me.detour.com/undefined (which error'ed)
alex kwon@alexyoungkwon · oneminute
@andrewmason wow perfect. wanted totry ine before buying one. ill share how this goes!!
Jason Hitchcock@jasonhitchcock · Problem Solver @ Bebo
@andrewmason I've been looking forward to this since the episode of of Startup Podcast where it was mentioned.
Austin Cooley@adcooley · Co-founder, CTO - Resource
Also tested in early beta, it's a really intriguing product, congrats on the launch @andrewmason. Here's a story for ya... Detour walks us up to this random house and starts telling us about this artist called Duke that lives there. His window paintings are just laying against the house, beautiful stuff. A minute later, out walks Duke from his house, looking like he just rolled out of bed. He chats with me and my date about his work, then we all take a sweet selfie, and off we go. Pretty magical.
Andrew MasonMakerHiring@andrewmason · CEO Descript, former Detour / Groupon
@adcooley thanks for your help Austin and so glad you had a chance to meet Duke!
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Congrats on the launch, @andrewmason and team. I know you've had several people testing early versions of Detour since it was announced six months ago. Was there anything surprising that you learned from these beta testers that changed the product or your initial beliefs?
Andrew MasonMakerHiring@andrewmason · CEO Descript, former Detour / Groupon
@rrhoover It reinforced the importance of making the walks location-aware. We guide people along a path, but people go at their own pace; they'll stop to explore, take pictures, get food, or just walk at their own pace. The walks are all scored with music and sound design. If we wanted one music cue to last as you walk across a couple of blocks - with street crossings and turns along the way, we had to just manually time it perfectly using an assumed walking speed, or else it would destroy the continuity of the music. We ended up building a new engine that actual mixes the audio tracks in the app in real time, like in a video game. So you can have music cues playing independently of narration, allowing us to create location triggers at every single place where you need location synced to audio. Sorry if that doesn't make sense. Also sorry if it does make sense but is extraordinarily boring. But that's what we were working on. TLDR it allows us to make walks that are much more forgiving and adaptable. Also the first version of sync we built was based on multipeer and that ended up being super buggy so we rewrote it from the ground up (with an eye toward Android compatibility).
Jonathan HowardHiring@staringispolite · Growth engineer & founder
@rrhoover @andrewmason I was an early user on the beta. I really enjoyed the way it felt like a "This American Life" episode that you got to walk through in real time. You can feel that influence Andrew mentions in @abexlumberg's Startup Podcast. The content is really unique in a way that is difficult to express to someone who hasn't done it. That's exciting and I think they did a great job. I was surprised by a few things (below). I though a lot about the immersive experience & tech issues Andrew mentions here at first. But what surprised me was how little that mattered, without more fundamental things like stability, certainty, and enabling self-expression solidly in place. * The visual guides were really helpful. Audio could get me to 90% confidence, but the images brought me over the hump to feeling comfortable. They even set images to work on the iOS lock screen, which I thought was a great touch. * I told Andrew this last month: I wish there were shorter Detours I could fit into my life more easily (eg a lunch break). Right now they're a good length for a date, which meant - even though I really wanted to test it out! - I had to wait until my girlfriend and I could set aside an hour or two. I couldn't act while I was excited about it. * If I paused it long enough, or I got a call, or I took a video, the Detour would stop, and I couldn't pick up where I left off. We'd have to backtrack to the nearest checkpoint and start a segment over. * I couldn't document my (super fun!) experience at Musee Mechanique because while I needed video to capture the experience, it would trigger the bug above. When I was thinking "walking tour app" I wouldn't have thought enabling self-expression would be so important. * As Andrew said, pairing was error prone. My g/f's phone didn't support iOS8, so we spent hours unsuccessfully upgrading her phone, then successfully upgrading my old iphone5, eventually giving up and sharing one pair of ear buds. I really hope the team supports iOS7 soon because I want to take my family on Detours next time they visit. And while iOS upgrade stats are great, this product is unique in that even if it's just my grandma that can't use it, the whole group is less likely to do it.
Andrew MasonMakerHiring@andrewmason · CEO Descript, former Detour / Groupon
@staringispolite thanks for sharing this. And thanks @rrhoover - all I could think as I read this was what a special community you've got going here. These comments are all so great and useful. Don't fuck it up! :-) Shorter Detours - yes yes yes. We're working on it. All those other bugs should be fixed.
Jonathan HowardHiring@staringispolite · Growth engineer & founder
@rrhoover @andrewmason Good to hear the other bugs are fixed! Stoked to check out the non-beta version now. The App Store still says iOS8 is required, which will probably mean I can't use it with my family (a couple iPhone4's, which can't upgrade). I understand it sometimes adds development complexity, but unless there's iOS8-only features it depends on, it'd be great to see iOS7 support. Not to mention, Apple says 28% of iOS devices are iOS7 or earlier, so it seems like a mass-market product like this could really benefit https://developer.apple.com/supp...
Daniel Blake Saltman@dbl · Cofounder, EverydayCarry.com
Do you guys allow individuals to make and sell their own walking tours? They could get rated by the community and the best ones rise to the top. I think the big appeal here is tours by people who really know the history of the city/area, which means the natives or other colorful characters. If you let people start creating these all across the world, It would have a pretty awesome effect both for the user making revenue from his tours as well as the end user getting a awesome experience.
Andrew MasonMakerHiring@andrewmason · CEO Descript, former Detour / Groupon
@dbl yes, absolutely. I think people will be blown away when they get their hands on the app we're building to make these tours, there's some really cool technology involved that you haven't seen before. Ultimately, we're just creating Detours ourselves to set the bar and dog food the creation tool. The same reason Epic makes Unreal instead of just Unreal Engine. (I have no idea if that's true, but there is no harm in pretending like it is) We'll have something to release this year.
Hong@quan · Mechanic, Karmic Bikes
@dbl @andrewmason That is actually true re: Epic and Unreal. They were the team that could push the engine tech the most, at least initially.
Preet@preetnation · BlueLight, also enjoy QS and Parkour
@dbl @andrewmason this is going to be amazing. thought of this while i was on my honeymoon in spain middle of last year
Mark Brenneman@marksbren · Co-founder @healthiqapp
I was an early beta tester (thanks @andrewmason). The quality of the content on Detour is stunning. I went on a few tours with my family and was blown away by the stories, music, and other details they put in the app. Everyone should download it and try at least one. I really see this as a unique, mobile-first entertainment medium. A location-aware, interactive podcast. These tours are a great start and feel very natural, but I can imagine this growing into other products/verticals as well. @andrewmason, one great feature I have liked is showing historical photos on the phone. Seeing Market Street in the 1900s while hearing the carriages in the app was very engrossing. Have you thought about other, interactive pieces that could be built in using the phone? It was great being a beta tester and I hope my feedback was helpful. Congrats on the launch.
Andrew MasonMakerHiring@andrewmason · CEO Descript, former Detour / Groupon
@marksbren it was super helpful, and thanks for chiming in here Mark, this makes my day!