John Polacek

Chicago Web Developer

Engineering manager and frontend lead at Howl

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Route Chat

Originally published on 4/12/2023
Personal Travel Guide to History and Points of Interest

My family went to Scotland for Spring Break. It was an absolutely beautiful country with a rich history (of which I'm part of on my Mom’s side - Clan Brown!). As we traveled across Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Highlands, I had an idea for an app.

Wouldn’t it be cool if there was an app that could tell you about interesting historical facts and local points of interest as you travel?

That’s what Route Chat does. It tracks your geolocation as you travel and every time you cross over into a new city or town, it hits the ChatGPT API to get info about where you are then talks to you through your phone’s speech API.

I haven’t built a native app in years so I used ChatGPT to talk me through how to do it. I wound up using Expo to build the app. There’s only an Android App because Apple charges too much to get into the App Store. So if you're an Andoid user, give it a try at