New app offers drivers, walkers ‘another way’

MILFORD >> Most navigation Apps are designed to get people to their destination as quickly as possible, but now there’s a new app designed by city two men that takes walkers and drivers via the slower, scenic routes.

The Round Scenic Route GPS Navigation app is billed as being “for the journey, not the destination,” and is the first of its kind.

It is available as a free download in the Apple store. The app was developed by Rob Kurfehs, 33, who works for a leading digital agency in New York City, and Stephen Barrante, 39, who mans the downtown office of their tech startup, Round, LLC.

They are working on an Android version, along with other products.

The two met in the digital marketing field and became fast friends before co-founding the company at Schooner Lane.

“I think most of the time people are in a hurry. They want to get from Point A to Point B,” Barrante said.

Kurfehs added: “People need to slow down.”

It was actually Kurfehs, who finds relaxation in driving, who came up with the concept when he was going home and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a more scenic route?”

The pair got talking about it and so began the journey — hours upon hours, weekends, nights, to design the unique app.

The way it works is this: Users record their favorite driving and walking routes and share them with the community and friends.

The app provides turn-by-turn voice navigation and sharing of routes, as well as descriptions. The routes help users find hidden gems, the men said.

The app can be used for jogging and hiking as well.

The database, built by users, can be searched through key words such as fall foliage, coastal, historic, lake or architectural routes.

Travelers can plan ahead by exploring worldwide routes and saving them to their favorites for later use, the men said.

They call the app Round because it’s for those who prefer the long way ‘round.

The two seemed destined for the digital arena early on. Kurfehs, a graduate of Brookfield High School, began designing websites at 16 years old.

Barrante was also ahead in the technology area, one of the first students at Cheshire High School to be among a unique group to get email. He also graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a tailored degree that combines graphics and digital information.