Requests, business interests, offers. All of the real world inside a virtual sphere which allows us to automatically find products and services in our present location, avoiding long (and often fruitless) web searches. It’s called OnReal, a community-app which is revolutionising the world of adverts. It will be launched in Milan in December, and shortly after will be rolled out worldwide, thanks to the co-operation of significant international partner.
Using an advanced system of algorithms and geo-localisation, OnReal takes all our needs relating to offers, requests and business interests into a single virtual sphere, and matches them precisely with the needs of other users in their own personal spheres. After a swift online process, it also allows you at to meet in the real world to conclude the deal or do the activity together.
OnReal is a community that starts online but finishes in real life. The offers and requests are not lost in the depths of cyberspace, social networks or conventional adverts, but they are firmly anchored in the local area. That is how, thanks to OnReal, and differently from other platforms, a new network of ‘authentic’ relationships can be built, without sacrificing the dialogue, the empathy, and the human contact of ‘here and now’.
An idea conceived in front of a university noticeboard
“I had the idea in 2008” explains Oretta Bray, CEO of the innovative start-up OnReal “when I found myself in front of a university noticeboard, full of paper adverts which were pinned on top of each other, which I had to painstakingly go through in order to find what I was interested in. As with noticeboards, I find that on the internet too our search results leave us having to examine every single search result entry, and often they don’t even correspond to what we are looking for. We spend a long time on internet searches, too much in fact. That’s why I thought: if I’m a chemistry student and I’m looking for a chemistry book, I’ve got a good chance of finding someone who is selling it right here in my faculty, in the place I am now. To give another example: if I want to make myself available for some extra work as a housekeeper, maybe someone in my apartment block needs me, but I have no way of knowing”.
How it works: safety, settings, functionality
First of all, to be able to use OnReal you need to register. The user (who can navigate with more than one profile) has to provide proof of identity for security reasons. The second step is to create a personal sphere, which is the geographical area in which the user can be seen by others and can interact with offers, requests and messages from other users. The dimension of this sphere can be decided freely by the user: it can vary from 100 metres or more, up to much larger scales for companies. Thanks to geo-localisation, the selected area follows the user everywhere.
Inside this sphere, each user can launch their own adverts, which are called ‘goals’ (for example “I’m looking for a housekeeper for two hours a day”, or “I’m selling a 2017 Fiat Panda”). That is all, OnReal takes it from there. If, to carry on with the same examples, inside the area set by the user, there is another personal sphere containing the advert “I’m looking to buy a 2017 Fiat Panda”, both users will receive a notification which will allow them to meet up in the real world and close the deal.
OnReal also offers other, more ‘social’ functionalities, like allowing users to consult to the sphere and see profiles they are interested in, or see via a map which company profiles are present in the vicinity and interact with them. There is also the ‘WithMe’ function, with which you can communicate your availability to take part in an activity to whoever is in the selected area of your sphere, by posting an advert such as “Have lunch with me”, “Ten minutes for a coffee”, “Come jogging with me” or “Shopping together”, and so on. At the same time, the user receives offers and proposals from other profiles, and can filter them by category of interest and type of message, to avoid receiving undesired marketing.
Profiles: five types, from Institution to Ambassador
To distinguish users as accurately as possible and make the app even more efficient, ONREAL has five types of profile: ‘Institution’, ‘Private’, ‘Ambassador’, ‘VIP’, and ‘Company’. The first is dedicated to public bodies that want to get in contact with the public to provide services or information relevant to a specific location; the second is for individual private users; the third was created for people in a certain area who would like to work with OnReal; the fourth is dedicated to celebrities who decide to communicate their presence in a place or at an event to OnReal users; the fifth was thought up specifically for business, for companies that want to get in contact with users in a specific geographical area. For example, they can decide to launch offers or reserve discounts for OnReal users who decide to become their followers. It is a bridge to connect the world of business with consumers, easily and with a high level of profiling, via a simple click.