HyperTrack is the fastest way to build live location features into your application, with our plug-and-play location stack allowing for easy integration with your existing workflow and business. We’ve built our stack to be quick to integrate, scalable and reliable, and providing real-time filtering while maintaining battery efficiency. Now, we’ve made it even easier with the open sourcing of our HyperTrack Live Android app.
This is a guest post by Siddharth Sharma, CTO at Care24, India’s leading provider of home healthcare services.
Care24 is a leading provider of home healthcare services in India and as we scaled our operations we found accurate tracking of our care personnel to be a very important factor in service delivery. We already had our own app and were faced with the classic build vs. buy decision. As an early stage company we have to be very judicious with our resources. While we wanted tracking as a core feature in our app, building that technology capability is cumbersome and not core for us. We started looking for technology partners for help.
Location tracking is driving forward thinking services businesses around the world to build mobile marketplaces that connect freelance and in-house service professionals with local consumers. Services like home healthcare, beauty, auto mechanic, laundry, cleaning services, handyman, pickup and delivery are booked with the tap of a button and serviced by professionals who use an Android or iOS app to manage the visits. Live location of such service professionals can be useful to assign jobs based on location, track the visit, measure productivity, share location with customers for a better product experience and track miles for expense management. Service aggregators around the world and across industries use HyperTrack to build live location use cases.
The next generation of location-based services uses live location to make assignments, track orders, track miles, personalize experiences and power great product experiences. A fleeting glimpse by product managers and developers might lead to a false view that maps platforms are sufficient to build these features. This post covers what maps do and don’t.
Say you want to build an in-app tracking view of an order. It needs to be a smooth experience (think animated icons) with accurate location (route polylines maybe), live ETA (that updates every minute), user/order information (a drawer to reference) and trip status (why is it stuck there). To build this, what can developers count on maps for and not? Read on for the answers.
Developers build live location features in their product because it is core to their business. In the process, they end up having to build infrastructure. Developers who have built and operated this underlying infrastructure on their own have a deeper experience of the pains involved. Often, this is the first time they start questioning if that part of the stack is core to their business and if there is an API for that. In the chance that they find HyperTrack as that API they were dreaming of, a new problem arises.
In many in-house location stacks, the de facto interface at which the infrastructure stops and the feature begins is the location stream. You generate the location stream on the device, log/store it on the server, and then consume it in the product. For enterprises using vehicle tracking systems (VTS) and GPS chips, there is a legacy reason to go down this path. When other teams and software modules in the stack are consuming this stream, it is hard to imagine ripping it out and replacing it with HyperTrack SDKs and APIs.
And then begins: “But it does solve a bunch of things we are dealing with”, “Hey they seem obsessed with it and we are not, they must know something we don’t”, “Let’s deploy it on that new feature or new set of users in that new project”, “Let’s run this in parallel with our stack and compare the results before phasing it in”, etc.
It is then that one of the two questions comes up:
- “Can we provide our location stream as input to your API and get your location stream as output?”
- “Can we use your location stream as input to our API and everything upstream will start working better?”
Tl;dr – Bad idea. Using location streams as the interface is architecture debt. Pay it off.
New hires at HyperTrack usually impress the team with the code they check in on day-one. Aman raised a few more eyebrows on his first day when he caught a bullet of a shot during the evening cricket ritual at the office. He swerved like Neo in Matrix, though instead of dodging the bullet, he ended up singlehandedly snatching it out of thin air.
Hackathons are a great opportunity for creative juices to run wild and for the next innovation to be born. Over a short period of time, usually 24-28 hours, participants are tasked with using a variety of technology and services, and fueled by pizza, energy drinks, and excitement, to create something amazing.