During the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Puneet Mehta, CEO and co-founder of local tech start up MyCityWay, found himself wanting a mobile app to tell him which balloon or float was coming next in the parade. But as he was leaving, he also found himself also looking for the least congested way home, a public restroom, and a place to get a good bite to eat.
He decided to do something about it.
“We have created a platform where we marry event specific information with everything that is near the venue, or around the venue, including how to get there,” said Mehta.
Mehta went to Macy’s and developed the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade app for the 2011 parade with a route map, balloon/float tracker, and the addition of WiFi hotspots and restroom locator.
This year’s updated version includes the same features as last year but adds traffic cams to avoid a long trek home, weather updates, and dining guide.
For kids (or young at heart adults) looking to pass the time, there is the Elf-O-Matic, an augmented reality feature, new this year on the app. Users select an elf balloon and then snap a photo of their face, which is incorporated into the elf balloon. Their creation is then placed into the screen for a new photo opportunity—a very familiar looking balloon on the streets of New York.
As of Wednesday morning the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade App was ranked 25 in the Entertainment Category of Apple’s iTunes store.
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