Team 11 (FB: #softwebhackathon11) came up with a mobile app prototype that has the potential to revolutionize the service industry.
The app, “myHandyMan” uses geo-location to identify the nearest service provider for any type of work or product required by the consumer. It combines the best features of tele-listing companies, online review sites and even has a “Name Your Price” feature to offer a complete package to the users.
(L to R: Nirav Mehta, Ankit Zaveri, Vishal Bagdai, Shanil Shah and Mital Joshi)
Team leader Ankit Zaveri says that the inspiration for the project came from the fact that all the existing local business apps in the market do not give consumers the ability to view the service providers and name their price before ordering a particular service. Another major issue that many consumers face is that they are unable to leave a review on the existing local business services.
The mobile app was created in Xamarin for the Android platform. “Creating a functional prototype of a mobile app in under 24 hours is not easy, but we managed to knock one out by pulling an all-nighter” adds Ankit.
The technical part that got the team stumped for a while was the fact that they were implementing this system using Xamarin.Forms, an API that allows developers to build native UIs for iOS, Android and Windows phones.
But the C# based API is also new to the market and there is a learning curve that the team had to overcome. Implementing a form using Xamarin.Forms was what took up a substantial amount of time adds team member Nirav.
Mital is of the view that the app has the potential to be used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. “Any type of business can register with the app at no cost and the consumers can also use the app for free” she adds.
Vishal gave a brief overview of the app and how it can work with any service. “For example, if your car gets a flat tire while you are driving, you can see the car mechanics closest to you based on your location and send out a service request along with your budget. The mechanic who can match your budget will send a quote and service terms to you for approval.”
Consumers can see the ratings and reviews left for a particular business and also leave their own rating once the job is done. “The business potential is virtually limitless” chimes in Shanil. He says “We started making a list of the products and services that were ideal for this app and then realized that it can cover the entire economy!”
Existing features in myHandyMan
For consumers –
- Post a service request on the fly (no login needed)
- Accept/reject services based on rate/review
- Rate/review service providers
- Can ask for service at another location
- Restrict providers based on location selection
- Set preferences to get notified (alerts & timings) and other settings
For service providers –
- Register with the app
- View current requests and respond
- View past service reports and filter to get success ratio
- View a list of all served customers
- Send offers to pre-serviced consumers
Additional features that can be added to myHandyMan –
- Online tracking (consumers can track providers)
- Consumer can reopen service request in case of unsatisfactory service or for any other reason.
- The consumer can also become a verified service provider
- Complaint logging and resolution
- Premium consumer/service provider registration (in app purchase)
- Premium providers get notified first when a consumer requests a service
For security purposes, there is a two way code generation mechanism on each service request. To check the authenticity of a registered consumer, the application generates a code that will be shared with the confirmed service provider.
While the hackathon was an intensive coding experience for all five team members, they also took off time to participate in all the games that had been arranged. Ankit says that whenever one of them got stuck at a particular point, they would unwind by taking part in the games that were going on. The team even managed to win a few prizes in those games.