While finishing school, I started a project called “Café Wifi” after coworking out of cafés for a summer in New York City with friends. The app was designed to make it easy to attribute and populate detailed data about the best places to work from while on-the-go… anywhere in the world.
Although coding began in 2015, I didn't go “all-in” on the project until 2016, and towards the end of that year we were accepted into a VC/accelerator program in Tokyo offered by Digital Garage. — By the end of the project, we had enabled users to swap seats and meet up at the best walk-in workspaces worldwide, and had essentially built-out a first version of “Uber for seats” at cafés. The seats were provided by other users and/or café staff at establishments, either for free or for a small amount of money paid via Apple Pay.
On the back-end, we triangulated locations and tracked statistics of Wi-Fi networks as published by the mobile apps, and displayed aggregate data both on the web and in-app for each venue.
One of the coolest features that we had was the ability to do multi-level/multi-area indoor attribution of venues. In other words, you could tag and configure attributes (such as power outlets, seating types, smoking/non-smoking, outdoor seating, food availability, cryptocurrency acceptance, and more) in various areas of each known café and coworking space, not just for the entire space itself. All of this data was synced automatically in the background between various devices and our central database as edits were made, and would even resume or recover at a later date in the case of spotty connectivity.
Café Wifi was discontinued in March 2018.