Discover Ireland Guide
This smartphone app for iOS and Android, launched in March 2013, provides users with a comprehensive interactive guide to all there is to see and do on the island of Ireland. One of the unique features of the app is that all the data for the app is stored on the phone, meaning that tourists can use it offline and thereby avoid expensive roaming charges or connectivity problems whilst in Ireland.
The project was developed by Big Top Multimedia in conjunction with GeoGuides Ltd and Arekibo Ltd. Big Top Multimedia were responsible for the development of the back-end solution for the app.
The project entailed the building of a complex middle-ware layer called DISPA (Discover Ireland Synch Process Admin). The project required a system that could interrogate the Failte Ireland database of tourism businesses and events in Ireland, and deliver content updates to app users as over-the-air updates (OTA updates).
The DISPA system would create a snapshot of all the tourism information in the Failte Ireland database each night. Then, when app users click the update button on their app, the system would automatically deliver to them an update of their app data that was specific to their needs. Users who updated their app yesterday would get only updates that were published since yesterday whilst a user who had not updated for a week would get all the relevant data updates from the past week.
The system allowed the development of a smartphone app that could contain all the tourism data for the whole Island, but could run on the users phone even if he or she was off-line. The data sync feature meant that the user could update the content on their app at any time when in a WiFi zone.
Further, the smart technology built into the DISPA system meant that the user would only deliver the data the user needs. This meant that users would not need to download large updates for the app to get the latest data.
The project displays our ability to work with other suppliers in a collaborative team. It also displays our ability to design and build very robust, highly complex technical solutions that work seamlessly and deliver data to thousands of users without issue.