Touch&Travel was a program at Deutsche Bahn I was involved with when I worked there. Touch&Travel lets people pay for the train using their cell phones. A user could "check in" at their departure station, travel on Deutsche Bahn and partner systems, "check out" at their destination, and then receive a monthly bill with their travel costs automatically calculated. Before I joined, the program was a 3-year pilot using NFC technology. However, at the time NFC technology was only available on Nokia "feature" flip phones.
I re-imagined Touch&Travel to work with smartphones. I started by designing the UI. I made a pie-in-the-sky version and a more realistic version. I also designed how the app could work securely without NFC. The app can use either geolocation, 3D barcodes, or a simple stop number to allow users to check in. This is then validated with network-based location services from the carrier (with user permission, of course!).
On January 6, 2011, right on schedule, Deutsche Bahn released the beta of the Touch&Travel iPhone application. The architecture of how the application fit into their existing system was right how I had designed it over the summer. They made some tweaks to the UI, but ~80% of the UI was as I had designed it. Some of the artwork I prepared over the summer even made it into the application.
In particular I am happy that they took my icons for the check in methods. It would be so cool if those icons would be printed in stations and/or added to their style manual. Germany corporations, including Deutsche Bahn, are some of the great patrons of modern typography and modernist design. I would be honored if my work was a part of that.
In June 2011, Deutsche Bahn released a version for Android.
In December 2011, Deutsche Bahn rebranded T&T (redesigned the website and got a new logo) to give it a unique brand identity from Deutsche Bahn.
As of January 2012, the project is still in pilot.
How it Works
(Screenshots as of Jan 2011 1st public beta)
You get a bill at the end of the month for your travels.
All of the news stories are in German, unfortunately
- Press Release (German)
- AreaMobile: Touch&Travel: Bahn veröffentlicht Fahrkarten-App für das iPhone
- Computer Bild: Touch&Travel: Bahn veröffentlicht Fahrkarten-App
- TripsByTips Reise-News: Deutsche Bahn führt elektronisches Ticket "Touch&Travel" für das iPhone ein
- iFUN.de/iPhone: E-Ticketing: Touch&Travel-App der Bahn jetzt verfügbar
- Macnotes.de: Touch& Travel iPhone-App: Bahn-Projekt um Barcode- und GPS-Standorterkennung
- KUKKSI Nachrichten: 10:02 | Deutsche Bahn: Erste Fahrkarten-App veröffentlicht
- HANDY-TESTS.net: Handyticket kommt: Morgen soll das e-Ticket der Bahn eingeführt warden
- Eisenbahnjournal Zughalt.de: Touch&Travel nun auch mit iPhone nutzbar