New Destination App for Visitors to Cardigan Town
Situated on the mouth of the River Teifi in mid-Wales, the historical town of Cardigan is a popular tourist destination. It welcomes thousands of visitors each year from all over the world, who come to explore the historical buildings, attend cultural events and potter around the friendly shops, cafes and galleries. Now, visitors can discover even more about the town’s attractions using a mobile app created by the Town Council and Town Centre Partnership.
The app includes a mix of historical, business and recreational information, and users can download it beforehand to help plan their trip, and use it again when in the town to enhance their visit. With the bilingual app on their phone, visitors can find out ‘What’s Nearby’ when they are exploring the town. The app includes:
- Places to shop/eat/visit/stay listed by location and category
- Business directory
- Town historical trail (using GPS positioning)
- Town map by a local artist (pinch & zoom PDF)
- AR proximity treasure hunt (iBeacon powered)
- Cardigan’s history
- List of annual events
- Exclusive ‘virtual postcards’ to share on social networks
- Memory Game
- Collection of 360° panorama photos
- Photo gallery, including historical photos
- Before/After historical photos
- Teifi river trail
Easy to Build Using Locly
The destination app was built by a team from Cardigan using Locly Native – a self-service online platform for building location-aware React Native mobile apps for Android and iOS. Town & County Councillor Clive Davies, who led the team said; “I was amazed at how quickly we got up and running with the system and then use it to create fun and engaging content. We hope visitors to Cardigan will use the app to learn more about the town’s history, explore our shops and cafes, share their experiences with family and friends, and plan their next visit.”
Fun for All – Magical Treasure Hunt & Historical Trail
Great for families and those who want to explore the town is a magical Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt. Visitors have to solve 6 clues and use their device’s camera to find artefacts hidden around the town. Completing the challenge reveals a special e-certificate for budding detectives to share with friends online! There is also a GPS historical trail to follow, 3 exclusive selfie virtual postcards, and a collection of stunning 360° panorama photos to enjoy. Much of the app content is linked to GPS coordinates and presented in order of location with the nearest at the top. No matter where they are in the town, app users will be able to find out what’s ‘nearby’.
iBeacon and App Notifications
The town has also chosen to use iBeacon devices to further enhance user engagement. Six iBeacons have been placed in the town to ‘power’ the treasure hunt – hidden objects are only ‘revealed’ in the app when it is within range of the beacon. Around twenty others are being used to deliver location-specific messages to users, such as to draw attention to a historical building or notify shoppers about a special offer. The team also have the ability to send occasional ‘blanket’ notifications to all app users to let them know about new content e.g. forthcoming events. Both forms of notification can be turned off in settings by the user if they wish.
Town WiFi from Cisco Meraki
The launch of the app also coincides with the introduction of Cardigan’s free Town WiFi service, provided by Locly Partners Cisco Meraki. This service will make it faster for Cardigan visitors to download and use the app. The Cisco Meraki hardware, which provides WiFi hot-spots throughout the town, has inbuilt iBeacon technology so it can also ‘speak’ to the Locly app when users are nearby.
An Exciting Journey Ahead
At the recent app launch event, Councillor Clive Davies added “This is just the beginning of our app journey and we’re excited to see how it develops over the coming months. Using Google Analytics we will be able to see which parts of the app are most popular and tailor future content accordingly, giving visitors exactly what they want. The app is being promoted throughout the town and beyond, using social media, leaflets and even beer mats! Everyone is getting involved, which is very encouraging and exciting.”
The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play and all app content (apart from the Treasure Hunt) is visible from any location, so you can learn about Cardigan from wherever you are! The AR Treasure Hunt module is now available as part of the Locly Native platform, so please get in touch if you want to create a treasure hunt for your project.