The Open Day application was developed for colleges and universities who wish to provide a more interactive and engaging experience for students attending open days and taster days. The application uses Smart Bluetooth technology along with Beacons to present a trail around the campus that is customised to the visitor's chosen areas of interest. Upon entering a particular location within the campus, the application automatically presents the user with information relevant to that particular area i.e subject information, staff details, course details, links to videos and so on. The application was developed for Portal and formed part of their Exceptional Student Experience offering to the education sector.
Working closely with the Product Owner and a UX Designer I developed three versions of the application - two purely native applications in Objective C and Java (for iOS and Android respectively) and also a cross-platform version of the application using the Ionic framework. The initial native versions of the application used a Parse NoSQL database at the back-end, the later version uses a NoSQL Cloudant DB on the IBM Bluemix platform. The application needed to be fully functional offline because the connectivity on campus sites and between campus buildings could never be guaranteed. The native versions of the application use the Parse Local Datastore API for this and the Ionic version of the app makes use of the PouchDB library to fully synchronise the data between the local device and the back-end Cloudant DB whenever a connection can be established. Other features: background and foreground monitoring of beacons, use of the Kontakt.io native SDK, the Radius Networks Proximity Kit and Cordova plugin and social sharing via Twitter and Facebook.
The following screenshots are taken from a demo version of the application (the Ionic version) running on an iPhone 6 Plus: