Seattle-based IdealSeat has been enjoying a flurry of publicity. IdealSeat arms sports fans with highly specialized information about stadium seating, enabling fans to select the best seats for their needs when buying tickets to sporting events. IdealSeat engaged Teksera to create their first app and the infrastructure behind it at the very start of their venture.
IdealSeat founders contacted Teksera with the request to build an app using a crowdsourcing approach. This app had to track the stadium locations where foul balls and home runs landed during games. Fans using the app would enter the location of incoming balls landing in the crowd. With enough information, the app displayed the distribution of ball hits in the stadium in a “hit map,” enabling ticket-buyers to select locations where a ball was most likely to land.
IdealSeat’s app was a brand new product with no business or technical specifications. The founders’ elevator pitch doubled as the specification for this app: the app had to allow users to enter the location where balls fell, collect the data, and show it on a hit map. Unstated, but understood, was the requirement for APIs to integrate IdealSeat’s app with ticket seller websites. Teksera was tasked with discovering and designing all remaining details.
Additionally, because the data feeding this app was crowdsourced, we had to pay special attention to sparsely populated areas to ensure that the data present was valid and would scale. Finally, the app had elements of a mobile app and a social network and required both skill sets.
Strategy and Results
Teksera started the project from scratch, iterating requirements with input from our client. We used PhoneGap to build the end user mobile app into which fans enter ball locations, and which fans use to interact with each other. We built a server using Node.js to collect the crowdsourced data. IdealSeat grew a substantial database, for which we chose MongoDB, and continued to grow in popularity.