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Case Studies / Watcher


Custom development of a handy location tracker that allows users to watch over their friends and family members ensuring their safe walk from point A to point B and to be notified in case of any alert situation.

  • Сustom software development
  • 2015 – 2016
  • Industry: Navigation, Social networking

Initial Task


The client approached our team with a request to develop an MVP which was supposed to contemplate live location updates & sharing, travel mode detection, multiple alert triggers (eg. getting off the route, unexpected stops, etc.), custom ETA engine, simple social layer, and an in-app chat.

Touchlane team was responsible for project management, mobile-, back-end development of gps tracking location based app (including tracker logic and algorithms) and quality assurance.

Technology stack


Layer SDK Google Maps SDK Core Location Android iOS
IOS Android


Azure C# .Net



Complicated Alarm Triggers

In 2015, there was no 3rd party solution that would recognize “alarming” off-the route / stop triggers, so the algorithm needed to be written from scratch. It took months of brainstorming and field testing before we could actually reach a human-like definition of “worry”.


Optimized Battery Usage

While standard location tracking secured decent accuracy for our algorithms, we quickly realized the respective battery usage being unacceptable at best. To get around it, we have integrated other tracking technologies (eg. like significant location tracking which is way less energy consuming) so that the app only falls back to precise tracking to confirm or discard a potential “alarm” case.



To allocate more resources for the main features, a decision was made to rely on 3rd party messaging tools like Layer SDK (back-end) and Atlas (mobile). While Layer SDK proved to be a very decent choice , Atlas wasn't prepared to handle Watcher’s animations and transitions. As a result, we ended up creating a huge Atlas fork that would handle all the stuff. Looking back it’s become obvious that we either needed to simplify the designs OR to write the front-end code from scratch.


Phase / 01.

First Steps

  • Discovery, Tech Consultancy and Team Formation

    After having conducted an extended client’s interview to understand the needs, plans and project vision, our team has come up with a detailed plan and roadmap of the project development, including covering aspects of team composition and tech solutions to be implemented.

  • Core Features

    The first working direction implied the development of the basic location tracking, map integration, and notification setup so that the watchers could track the movement and be aware of alert events.This was a rather challenging task as it required our developers to put enormous efforts and deep mathematical knowledge to create a custom navigation solution.

Phase / 02.

Core Project Development

  • Initial Graphic Development

    The initial graphic development included partial redesign and basic route drawing, followed by the improvement of the tracking engine.

  • App Redesign

    Proceeding to the final stage of the project, our developers accomplished:
    - complete redesign of the app,
    - introduced custom movement tracking logic, and
    - set up chat integration to provide the opportunities to send messages inside the app.

Phase / 03.

Successful Launch. Further Maintenance and Post-Release Support

  • Successful Launch

    Upon implementation of all planned and approved by the Customer milestones there was a final release which was the point where the app got its ultimate appearance.

  • Maintenance and Post-Release Support

    As the Client was absolutely happy with the final outcome we proceeded with a long-term support and as-we-go updates to the app.

Overall Result

The completion of the Watcher app developmen project (GPS geolocation tracker) resulted in the following outcomes:

Task summary


Fully-featured iOS App

The successful release of the user-friendly Watcher app for iOS which was also maintained for 1+ years after the official launch.


Precise Location

The precision of the developed tracking engine reached a high 80% level which allowed users to detect the exact location and virtually accompany their friends and family members to their target destination safe and sound.


Great Usability and Tracking Accuracy

Watcher users highlighted great usability and tracking accuracy, mentioning that the app helped them to “get home safely through the city’s dark and dodgy streets” and release friends from “staying on the phone the whole night”, allowing them to just virtually watch over.

Client Review

Stefan Bech

Stefan Bech




They helped us develop our idea into a working product.

Immediately after launch, the app attracted thousands of users, earned broad media attention, and reached the top of the social networking category on the App Store. Touchlane LLC addressed issues quickly and communicated clearly. They were knowledgeable, transparent, and efficient.

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