If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, you’ll soon realise how its labyrinth of shops present an immense and complicated navigation puzzle to visitors. It’s the largest market in the world and every year is visited by about 91 million people, with an average of 300 thousand visitors a day. There are 4600 shops and only twenty-five exits.
“…during my first vacation in Istanbul, I got lost and did not know where I was…I decided to create an app to guide tourists, including Italians that visit for pleasure or business.”
On one such trip, Roberto Condello found himself grappling with the all too common situation of being lost in the middle of this enormous shopping mall. “Think of how I felt when two and a half years ago, during my first vacation in Istanbul, I got lost and did not know where I was. It was then, wandering in the Bazaar that I decided to create an app to guide tourists, including the many Italians that visit for pleasure or business.”
As Condello points out, “One of the main issues was the fact that within the market GPS on cell phones is virtually impossible to connect to. We solved this by installing almost 600 bluetooth devices, so now users can locate their position inch by inch, and furthermore the stores, exits, toilets, ATMs, police and infirmaries.”
“…next step is to develop an e-commerce strategy.”
His staff of three: Gizem, Elif and Baris are hard at work to develop the app and promote its obvious advantages.
To date, the app has been downloaded almost 12,000 times. “It’s a great satisfaction. So much hard work and investment has gone into this project,” states Condello.
Of course, there’s still so much to do. “The next step is to develop an e-commerce strategy so the user can purchase products via the app stores of the Bazaar, which will then be delivered direct to their door.”