Your personal travel assistant that tells you where to go

#3 Product of the WeekJuly 04, 2015
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I built this in a week for fun! 🎈 I started when @marckohlbrugge told me Telegram had published their Bot API (see http://www.producthunt.com/tech/...). I didn't really take it seriously but then I thought maybe I could make something that used Nomad List's data to tell you which 🌇 cities to go. That got out of hand 👻 and now it can do a lot more than that: You start with sharing your GPS location with it via chat. Then it can find ☕ coffee shops and 💻 coworking spaces near you, as well as 🏨 hotels and hostels. And it takes into account what kind of traveler you are, a budget backpacker, or more expensive expat. And makes recommendations based on that. Also it can tell you 🏃 people that are around you (based on other people chatting with Taylor). And then you can tap their username and chat to them instantly. In the last week, about 250 people used it. And @jmeistrich randomly met his American college friend in Slovenia through it! 😀 https://twitter.com/jmeistrich/s... I spent the whole week testing it with @emieljanson, @bramk and @marckohlbrugge on Telegram. I think they're totally sick of it now 🙈 In the future, I'd love to deploy it on Whatsapp and FB Messenger too, but their API is still closed I think! Also planned features are live push messages based on what's happening around you. All via chat because as @rrhoover says, interfaceless is the new interface.
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@levelsio love the concept. I'm curious as to why you didn't try this via sms first?
@blendahtom @levelsio You get great features with Telegram like auto-complete or suggested answers. You get a lot of messages through the bot so that would be costly using SMS for both sides. That's my guess.
@blendahtom @levelsio from what I know, most of the world doesn't use SMS anymore, US is a big exception since SMS bundles are free, but the rest of the world already switched to Whatsapp, Telegram, FB Messenger etc. I myself never use SMS (or voice for that matter). Everything I do on a smartphone is now data-only, so calling through Skype, messages through Telegram.
@illyism @levelsio yes, that too, SMS costs money, this doesn't cost money
@levelsio Hey, thanks for building and sharing :-) Looks really interesting. I've never used Telegram before. I clicked through on my Mac and was going to try it out. What happens to my phone number when I enter it in? Does that go into someone's database? Is it fundamental to the service working? Was a bit confused why it was needed on my laptop! Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question.
This is great. Another phenomenal project by Pieter. The only downside is that Telegram (at least the web apps) are buggy for me. I got stuck on the location prompt. The native iOS app is great though. There's not a lot of info about San Diego, CA but I was able to get recommendations for places to go to based on my budget and preferences (pulls this info in from Pieter's other project, NomadLIst). Overall, this experience is really neat.
@irvingtorresyc I think I fixed the location prompt now, you can enter cities now instead of sharing your location (Telegram's web app doesn't support location sharing yet). I'll keep sourcing more locations to work and sleep and improve that data. The quality of places is not where I want it to be yet, but at least the infrastructure to get that data to users is there now (through Nomad List and Taylor). It's just a matter of sourcing the right APIs to get this data and using algorithms to score them so I can show the best/nearest ones to users.
I just got around to playing with this - it's fun! I'm not convinced that "interfaceless" is the right solution for map based information lookup, though :)
@darrenux I agree, I think it's just one of the interfaces people will access your app/service/data through. Think website, app and chat interface, all to get the same. At least, that's my hypothesis.
Great use of Telegram's new bot API. Needs to have relevant suggestions. Just got too many commercial recommendations for open office space. Looking forward to seeing how this evolves.
@tomflemming Thanks Tom, which city did you try? I'll keep adding better sources for work places.
@levelsio Looking at London the results have too many commercial shared office spaces, the ones I would really try to avoid. Would be great to some more of the current and happening ones.
It's almost like Siri, but for travellers, and... upgraded.