Welsh teen launches app to help dozy com­muters

Western Mail - - NEWS - Tom Houghton Re­porter tom.houghton@waleson­line.co.uk

AWELSH 17-year-old has launched his own app to pre­vent Lon­don­ers from miss­ing their stops on the Tube.

Dafydd Jones launched his app – called Doze – at a glitzy event at the Lon­don Trans­port Mu­seum in Covent Gar­den, with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL) and Mayor of Lon­don Sadiq Khan’s of­fice in at­ten­dance.

The app works by no­ti­fy­ing users who may be asleep or dis­tracted that they need to get off just be­fore reach­ing their des­ig­nated stops on the un­der­ground. It taps into the ex­ist­ing Wi-Fi hotspots in or­der to ac­cu­rately pin­point the user’s lo­ca­tion.

Speak­ing at the launch event, Dafydd, from Tonyre­fail, said: “Hav­ing al­ways had a pas­sion for tech, it’s been a dream of mine to cre­ate my own app for some time. I’ve really en­joyed the process of build­ing the app and I’m so ex­cited it’s now ready to be launched. I gen­uinely be­lieve Doze could help thou­sands of com­muters and tourists who want to re­lax on their jour­ney, with­out the stress of po­ten­tially miss­ing their stop.”

Dafydd, a stu­dent at The Col­lege Merthyr Tyd­fil, ex­plained the in­spi­ra­tion for Doze came from his older brother, who once fell asleep on the Tube, ended up at the end of the line and had to pay £60 to get a taxi home.

In the wake of his brother’s ex­pe­ri­ence, Dafydd cre­ated the app which sees an alarm ad­vise users to get off the Tube just be­fore they ar­rive at their des­ti­na­tion.

Dur­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the app, Dafydd said he faced chal­lenges in­clud­ing limited GPS net­work ac­cess in the Un­der­ground, choos­ing in­stead for the app to use ex­ist­ing Wi-Fi hotspots lo­cated in every Tube sta­tion.

He also worked closely with TfL to care­fully lo­cate each hotspot to make sure the app will run smoothly for users once they’re in tran­sit.

In the run up to the launch, Dafydd had spo­ken with po­ten­tial in­vestors to ex­pand the con­cept over­seas.

The app has also had celebrity en­dorse­ment from Stephen Fry, who wrote on Twit­ter on Tues­day: “Just down­loaded @GetDoze. I’ll never miss my stop on public trans­port again! Down­load it now!”

Dafydd said: “Now the app has of­fi­cially launched, I’ll con­tinue dis­cus­sions with po­ten­tial in­vestors and work to ex­pand Doze into over­seas mar­kets that I be­lieve would ben­e­fit from its con­cept and to en­sure that Doze pro­vides the best public trans­port ex­pe­ri­ence for its users.

“While the suc­cess of Doze is my main pri­or­ity, I’m also us­ing my ex­pe­ri­ences up to this point to help other young en­trepreneurs, speak­ing at events fo­cused on the tech sec­tor and also en­gag­ing with other en­trepreneurs to spread the mes­sage that any­one can follow their pas­sion and ful­fil their po­ten­tial, even if you’re only 17.”

Dafydd has pre­vi­ously at­tended events held by Big Ideas Wales, part of the Welsh Gov­ern­ment’s Busi­ness Wales Ser­vice.

The free app is avail­able to down­load on the iOS App Store now, with an An­droid ver­sion set to be avail­able in 2018.

John Marsh

> Dafydd Jones, pic­tured at the launch of his app at Lon­don’s Trans­port Mu­seum, said the in­spi­ra­tion for Doze came from his older brother, who once fell asleep on the Tube and had to pay £60 to get a taxi home

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