ParkChamp uses server-less technology for a seamless parking experience. App users can instantly find and pay for parking which saves time, stress and money. Property owners benefit from a cashless, cloud managed system to earn revenues for unused spaces.
In Calgary. parking rates are the second highest in North America. Being a student and part-time worker with limited time and money parking was too expensive and hard to find in busy areas of the city. With more research, we found that around 25% of commercial parking spaces in the downtown core are left being unused. It was then that the idea to use innovative technology in an outdated industry came about. ParkChamp creates a new way for people or businesses to earn revenues, redistributes wealth into the economy and creates a better solution to parking - something that created traffic congestion, stress for drivers and crowded city streets.
In order to achieve the design requirements, we had to take a unique approach to the platform. Traditional apps leverage data from web servers using a stateless REST protocol, however we needed an infinitely scalable real-time platform with a reduced maintenance cycle, supporting a continuous release cycle, client based security and token based login. We employed a distributed server-less technology solution.
All code and behavior is distributed and executed on user devices instead of a central server.
All data processing, validation and business/domain logic happens on device rather than a central server.
Each device maintains a local copy of the database for offline use and performance, the database is kept in constant synchronization with all other devices.
Devices subscribe and communicate between each other directly in real time, a change on one device has an immediate response on all other connected devices.
We use a continuously iterative process. We began by researching common solutions and the problems associated with those solutions to identify the existing gaps. We built prototypes and used beta testers to qualify, collect feedback, revise and rethink solutions, then continuously repeated this process. This allows our product to have:
Fewer user operations (people can rent a stall in as little as 3 taps after opening the App).
All relevant information presented automatically to the user in graphical format (such as overnight, in/out times, GPS directions, photos).
Intuitive flow - users use this App with no instructions or tool tips and instinctively know how to use the product.
Minimal input from user - we only ask the user the minimum amount of information needed for critical operations.
Optional Login - users can use our product without having to login and/or create an account.
Seamless payments - if the device supports Apple Pay, the user doesn’t need to login or enter their credit card information.
Real time - ParkChamp creates a real time experience so that if something changes somewhere else in the world such as a stall is rented, all devices are instantly updated even if the user is currently looking at the App.
Distributing technology across user devices instead of centralizing business domain logic, has increased our App release frequency and has allowed us to focus on rapidly prototyping new features. It also eliminates time spent upgrading code infrastructure/hardware or maintaining multiple versions and backwards compatibility. This solution yields several unique benefits to design, scaling and performance:
Simplified security model where each user is granted resources based on simple rules rather than at the resource level or role based security
No server code means no server maintenance, upgrading, development time, or hosting costs
New Apps can rollout anytime without worrying about maintaining backwards compatibility (users on different versions of the App can seamlessly interact in real time)
Horizontal scaling - We can rapidly expand to new regions, support increasing/unlimited number of users and devices, without changes to server infrastructure or hardware
Our plan is to leverage RFID technology in order to access underground parkades, commercial garages and gated parking lots straight from the ParkChamp App. We will use our technology to integrate with video monitoring systems and replace existing payment infrastructure and policing mechanisms for parking operators. Our technology aims to completely re-invent the way people park solving one of the most common daily problems city dwellers face today.