A former Lancaster University student, who designed a new mobile phone application to help travellers, has been featured in the National Geographic Traveller magazine.
Tarun Sainani, who now runs his own business, WT InfoTech, from the University’s Lancaster Environment Centre, has developed an application called WAM (The World Around Me), providing travellers with up-to-date information on an array of relevant services.
The application has been rated by National Geographic Travellers as “one of the best local guide apps.”
WAM is an augmented reality application which provides real time information on immediate surroundings.
“With WAM you can just point your phone’s camera in any direction and discover places of interest quickly and easily,” explains Tarun.
“The application will pick up reviews, information and all manner of details about, for example, restaurants, bars, pubs, cinemas, theatres, petrol stations, banks or pharmacies along the route in the direction in which the phone is pointing.”
Lancaster University Management School alumni Tarun, who comes from New Delhi, India, but who now lives in Lancaster, came here in 2009 to study for a Masters degree in E-business and Innovation. It was during this time that he developed an idea to apply augmented reality in museums.
Tarun founded his augmented reality company, WT InfoTech, in 2012. He had been inspired to start his own company during his time at IBM’s Almaden Research Centre in Silicon Valley as part of his thesis.
It was his brother, Rahul, the Android developer in the team, who prompted the idea for Tarun to build WAM, which is now being used in more than 100 countries across the globe.
To help kick start his business Tarun received ‘Proof of Concept’ funding from the Lancaster University Enterprise Team. He now intends to grow the business locally, focusing on the tourism and cultural sector.
Tarun added: “Whether you're in London, New York, New Delhi, Moscow, Mumbai, or any other part of the world, WAM can be your local guide and travel partner.
“The World Around Me has opened up. It’s my world and it can be yours too. Enjoy WAMMING!”
For more information about Start-Up Business funding email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about support for Lancaster students, staff and alumni looking to start a business.
Proof of Concept Funding is awarded in association with Lancashire County Developments Limited (LCDL) and is administered by the Enterprise Team in Research and Enterprise Services. This is part of the Northwest Enterprise Champion Project, part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. For more information please visit http://www.lancs.ac.uk/users/gew/