Category Archives: Hobby projects

Hobby project: Build360Tours

Introduction

During fall 2019 I was working remotely from Thailand for a month. In this period I met some people that were making a living while traveling by maintaining their own business. One of the guys asked me what cool stuff I had been building over the past years. Something that came up first was the 360 tour I (or actually we) had built for Vensterworks (a startup I was in with a couple of friends). Unfortunately the startup diluted due to diverted interests and we all decided to stop. We decided to open source the 360 tour software, but until now it was just biting dust on Github.

It made me wonder if I could use this 360 tour software in a side project. I thought a interactive 360 tour builder would be nice project. There are quite some of these builders available online. Ranging from very high end all-inclusive with images including 3D data like Matterport to some smaller providers like Lapentor where you simply upload 360 images and build a tour. Build360Tours would then aim at the lower segment of the market comparable with Lapentor.

Geen fotobeschrijving beschikbaar.

Functional

Product website and user registration

The product website (build360tours.com) is a WordPress website promoting all capabilities of the tour builder application.
Before being able to start building tours, users need to register with an email address and password. Directly after that, just login and start building.

Tour builder

In the tour builder 360 photos can be uploaded and connected by adding arrows in each photo. Just like in Google StreetView, a walkthrough tour can be created this way.
Additionally, branding can be done by adding a logo in the left-bottom, adding a camera overlapping image (if the camera is visible in the photos) and adjusting the preferred color scheme.

Tour presentation

If the tour is ready to be shared there are two options:

  1. Embed the tour in a website (example below)
  2. Share the direct link to the tour

Technical

The tour builder is built in A-frame combined with Meteor framework. Meteor handles both the frontend and backend and is based on NodeJS. A-frame is used for rendering the 360 images and objects in a 3D context.

Roadmap

For now there is no clear roadmap, because I’m in doubt if I can get the project to grow as much as I would like to.
Build360Tours is promoted on Capterra, which happens to lead some traffic to it and resulted in about 15 user registrations over the past year.

Hobby project: HIIT buddy (mobile app)

Introduction

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This a well known type of training where you do a streak of exercises with a brief moment of rest in between.

HIIT buddy helps as an audio guide to execute such a training. It’s not a unique app at all, there are loads of apps in the App store. But I always wanted to publish a mobile app in the App store and my girlfriend Fleur started doing HIIT workouts using her phones stopwatch. So if I could build an app for this I would have her as my first user.

HIIT logo

Functional

No user registration

For now the app doesn’t have user login, so the created workouts are bound to the device the app runs on. A benefit is that theres no need to register before using the app. Downside is that app content is also bound to that particular phone, a new phone will mean loss of workouts that were made. To fix that, I’m planning to add a user login part.

Prepare workout

The app allows to create multiple workouts. Each workout can have multiple exercises which can vary in duration. A workout can have multiple rounds, which will repeat all exercises with x seconds rest in between.

Workout execution

Once the workout is fully prepared, it can be executed. The audio guide will give instructions about what exercise to do and show an on screen counter with the total workout time and time until the next exercise.

Technical

The app itself is built with Flutter, which makes it easy to develop for both Android and iOS phones. Persisting workout and exercise data is done through a REST API built in PHP and the Symfony framework. The audio guide utilises the Text-to-Speech client of Google for creating the voice commands.

Roadmap

  • User registration
  • Sharing workouts
  • Workout catalog with predefined workouts
  • Exercise instructions
  • Executed workout history

Download the app

Cover art

HIIT buddy
View in Play store | View in App store (not available yet)