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CASE STUDY

Combining the Power of Crypto With Hotel Industry

By Appinventiv
Wednesday, June 5, 2019 14:35 PM | 13 min read

Empire App - The Concept

We introduced the hotel industry with the fuel of crypto economics to not just make the whole system transparent but also remove the profit-making intermediary - Hotel Booking Services - from the scenario.
With the Empire App project, we brought the complete Hotel Booking ecosystem to a place where no involved party is made to pay unjustified money in name of convenience and transaction fees.

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    Expectations

    The Idea Behind Concept

    When the client came to us, they shared their vision to first make the whole Hotel booking services transparent and then to remove the money making intermediaries from the picture and use the cost differentiation to offer services.

    The answer cum solution of this expectation was to bring the app on Blockchain platform. Decentralization wouldn’t have just helped in removing the intermediary from the picture but also would have made the whole hotel booking payment system profit free with the inclusion of cryptocurrency.

    This probable solution marked the category of Empire App as a Blockchain powered Hotel Booking Mobile App.

    Market Challenges

    Hotel Industry Challenges that Empire App Aimed to Overcome

    Ideation stage
    Double Booking

    More often than not, the lack of staff experience and ill-planned Hotel Management Software lead to a situation where the same room is booked under two different names for the same duration.

    Ideation stage
    Incorrect Data Problem

    It is not uncommon for even the best of the hotel chains to make mistake and place guests in rooms that they never asked for or worse, specifically asked to not allot.

    Ideation stage
    Cost Issue

    When booking rooms through third-party hotel booking apps and websites, guests more often than not have to pay a lot extra amount in name of ‘peak season’ or ‘few units left’ while the actuality is that the hotel booking apps or websites charge extra for the maintenance of their software or simply to have a better looking year ending annual statement.

    The Empire Solution

    How Does Empire App and Empire
    Cash Solve These Pestering Issues?

    By introducing Blockchain in the business model, two things would happen - The guest data will be saved on the system in a safe environment and B. Since the whole system is now on-centralized, when a room booking transaction is made it will then be impossible to make another booking, all thanks to the immuta-bility power of Blockchain.

    While Blockchain powered Empire App solves the problem of double booking or incorrect data, the cost related issues will get solved by EmpireCash.

    Since EmpireCash is a digital currency, the price is not dependent on the economy or inter-geographical border transaction fees but on the demand of the currency. Also, because the business model worked on charge free platform, the guests were not seen as profit-making stakeholders.

    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Development Process

    The development process of Empire App revolved around equal part research and equal part quality tested development.

    Since our team of Blockchain developers was working around a technology that drives its power from immutability, we had to ensure that all the steps we took were backed by thorough research and the emphasis was given on the development of Proof Of Concept before the Main app development process started.

    Ideation

    The idea that the client came with, was in need of a Blockchain ecosystem to make the whole system a lot more transparent and systematic. Also, since payment - a factor which was at the center of the app - was to be based on cryptocurrency, we decided to introduce a new currency coin in the market through the app, in addition to the inclusion of already popular Ether.

    From the ideation stage itself, it was clear that the app would have four components that we would have to work on-

    Ideation stage

    Blockchain Powered Web Panel for Hotel Staff

    Ideation stage

    Empire Cash Creation

    Ideation stage

    Crypto Wallet to Store EmpireCash and Ether

    Ideation stage

    Mobile App for Guests to Use

    Mind Map

    Our team of strategist and developers together sat with the client to analyze and made a rough sketch of how the user would flow inside the app and the hotel staff would move within the web panel.

    Wireframe

    Once the concept and flow were theorized, we drafted a wire-frame to fix the move-ment and features with a much clearer sense and clarity.

    Prototype

    With the wireframe now designed and approved, we moved on to the prototyping stage where we designed and created a working model of user navigation and admin panel of the application.

    Proof of Concept

    Now that the wireframe was ready and approved, it was time for our develo-pers and testers to get involved and create a Proof of Concept of the crypto wallet and empire cash.

    Design

    The Metamorphosis of Sketch Into User Experience

    Since the whole concept of the app called for a certain level of learnability, it was necessary for the white space to be given a special focus. We ensured that there were enough white sections in the app so that users won’t have to face the issue of information overload or cluttered spaces.

    Our font choice was dominated by the reasoning that the letter spacing in words and the size of the words should take up only a certain percent of the app screen. It shouldn’t grab too much attention and at the same time, it shouldn’t get lost around the icons.

    As for the icons, we went for the ease and less attention-grabbing ability that comes associated with Flat Icons

    #C7A96F
    #ffffff
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Empire App - Design App Screen
    Development Challenges

    The project, like any other industry transforming app idea, didn’t come free of challenges.

    While Blockchain powered Empire App solves the problem of double booking or incorrect data, the cost related issues will get solved by EmpireCash. Since EmpireCash is a digital currency, the price is not dependent on the economy or inter-geographical border transaction fees but on the demand of the currency. Also, because the business model worked on charge free platform, the guests were not seen as profit-making stakeholders.

    Enabling Refund Module Through Crypto Route

    Because the refund module was decentralized, the cancellation and return method development poised as a challenge because of the immutable nature of Blockchain. Solution : Instead of making the refund process automated, we kept the system in users’ hands along with keeping minimal refund steps. We gave them prompts on how the refund initiation process should happen.

    Cryptocurrency Exchange

    The wallet that we employed in the Empire App was an Ethereum Wallet and the mechanism finalized in the business model was that the users would have to buy the EmpireCash through Ether. So storing both the currencies and then adding the functionality of exchange posed a challenge.

    Tech Stack

    Making it all work together

    Although the Empire App Model can be deemed as a complex mobile app, mostly because of the inclusion of a technology that is still to get mainstream in the mobile app world, with in-depth research and technical know-how of our Blockchain Team, we were able to overcome all the hurdles.

    Customer version
    Frontend
    iOS - Frontend

    iOS

    Android - Frontend

    Android

    Backend
    MongoDB - Backend

    Mongo DB

    node.js - Backend

    node.js

    Hotel Panel
    Frontend
    Angular - Frontend

    angular

    Backend
    MongoDB - Backend

    Mongo DB

    node.js - Backend

    node.js

    Outcome

    The end-result of our Decentralized Efforts

    We were able to deliver a working module of the app which is now ready to be presented in the ICO. The app idea and Proof of Concept were able to get the attention of some of the industry’s top hot-shots:

    Chris Bukowski
    Chris Bukowski
    Kirill Bensonoff
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