Last updated: 10:30 AM ET, Thu July 21 2016

Taking Exciting New Travel App uZoom For Test Drive

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | July 21, 2016

Taking Exciting New Travel App uZoom For Test Drive

Image via YouTube

Until transporter technology comes into fruition we are left with being innovative and rather imaginative to guarantee that the town we are about to visit is exactly what we want.

uZoom is offering an unbelievably intriguing solution for those who want to view a part of the world from the comfort of home, and all while sitting on the couch.

I had the pleasure of speaking with co-founder and CEO Dean Graziano who walked me through a sample experience on uZoom.

Essentially, you download an app that allows you to request a view of various parts of the world. If there are Zoomers in the area, then they will gladly open their camera and offer a live feed of exactly the part of the city you want. Now, you will pay for the opportunity, but the value is evident the second you witness the hotel, hostel or neighborhood you are about to spend a couple of weeks enjoying.

Graziano explains, “Say I’m traveling to New York; I can just set a pin in the app, very Uber like, and send a request where I can see the neighborhood, the hotel, all of the surrounding area.”

The following video is a nice and immediate way to illustrate the possibilities:

Graziano continues, establishing the low cost of the experience and its inherent value to potential travelers: “For a penny a second, I can control that person and they can show me around that hotel, the neighborhood. I can ask them all the questions that I want.”

The CEO likens the innovation to a popular app that has already taken over the world, “And so it’s very much like Uber for video.”  

As I mentioned, I had the joy of taking the app out for a spin. While still in Beta, you instantly see where this app can invigorate your own travel research projects. Once downloaded, the app is your portal to requesting a uZoom session in various parts of the world and an opportunity to make money as a Zoomer – someone who shows off the local land for tourists back at home.

As Graziano states, “You can either make money or spend money.”

While having some Wi-Fi mishaps on my end of things, I finally got on the app and was rolling, showing off the neighborhood as Graziano and his team suggested ways to move, which led to arrows that popped up on my phone.

I could also hear requests that would lead me down the street or to pan the camera.

Being a Zoomer is effortless and is only a matter of holding out your camera and showing your own respective world.

As for those who want to uZoom, you pick a place in the world and request a session. Once a Zoomer answers you head to a chat session where you might explain what you’re looking for.

After that, you both press the ready button and a video session begins. It’s at this time that the meter runs and for every second you are docked a penny. For your money you get to be your own director, asking the Zoomer to move with swipes on the phone or with you own chatty self.

I would like to see a clearer picture but overall the experience was stunning. I could really see hopping on to see that neighborhood I might visit in London or that hotel I’m about to book.

As for the specifics, you can get more at the website linked above. uZoom plans to roll out in a major way at the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, which is a great choice as the event may garner the necessary infrastructure to meet both supply and demand for Zoomers and virtual tourists.

[READ MORE] READ MORE: Mark Murphy Takes on Summer Travel Trends and Topics 

If you do Zoom, you will be compensated immediately in the form of PayPal, gift cards or the ability to donate the proceeds.

As for my brief glimpse of the app. I have to say; I’m pretty darn excited to see uZoom when it fully hits the market.


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