It has been a very exciting time for MyWay, our personal safety app. Yesterday it was featured twice on BBC Radio Berkshire. Many thanks to Bridgitte Tetteh for some great questions, and to Ish Aa – RUSU Welfare Officer at the University of Reading for sharing her concerns as a young woman – skip to 46m30 secs on BBC Sounds:
I am delighted that MyWay is getting some attention in the media. Our involvement in Reading’s Safer Streets Partnership has helped raise its profile, and hopefully the extra publicity will help more people use it to feel safer when they are out and about, especially now it is getting dark so early.
If you live in Reading then you can use MyWay for free with this link. Just remember to tap your browser menu and add it to your home page.
Madalina is Thingitude’s new trainee. Last week she had her first visit to a collaborative project focused on using the Internet of Things (IoT) to help beekeepers monitor the health of their hives. Here is Madalina’s report on the day.
Introducing the Local Honey Man
Curtis Thompson was first introduced to Apiculture (professional beekeeping) by his uncle at the age of 15. Curtis was fascinated with one of natures wonders “raw honey” – and the many problems that bees can solve.
MyWay is a free app that has been helping women students to feel safer in Reading for the last two years.
This year we’ve made MyWay available to everyone who lives in Reading, thanks in part to funding from Reading’s Safer Streets partnership.
The story behind the MyWay App
MyWay was the idea of Traecy, a trainee loT consultant working at Thingitude. In 2019 Traecy surveyed 50 women students at the University of Reading and realised that the safety of women students was an important problem to tackle. She wanted to help women university students be better informed and to feel safer, especially if walking alone.
With funding from the Thames Valley LEP, we worked with a small group of women from the University of Reading to help design the app and learn what the most useful features would be. Common concerns were knowing which streets were poorly or well-lit, which ones had other people on walking them, and knowing where any current trouble was going on.
Making Towns safer
We have installed sensors on every street in the town centre to give us accurate live data on how busy the streets are, and which ones are best lit at night. Reading is a relatively safe town, but even here, the town centre had over 2,000 incidents of a violent or sexual nature reported to the police last year. It is very difficult for anyone to know precisely where trouble might happen, however, with the MyWay app you can easily report trouble, and see places that can be avoided.
In May 2023 Lead Councillor for Community Safety Karen Rowland was asked about MyWay for local TV:
Every town wants to make sure that everyone is safe and having a good time especially when they are enjoying local entertainment, bars and restaurants. MyWay gives people a way to help themselves and their friends feel safer and be better informed when they are out in town.
Want to know more about the MyWay app:
If you live in Reading you can find all the information about getting the app and its features on our Instagram account:
If you are located in another town, we’d love to show you how to help your town become safer for everybody. Please contact us now!
A couple of weeks ago we were exploring 850-year old technology at Woodbridge Tide Mill, and this week we are right at the cutting edge.
As those great explorers and philosophers of the 1990s rave scene, The Prodigy once said:
Pay close attention.
Now I’m not going to take your brain to another dimension, but yesterday my Lacuna Space LS300 dev kit successfully sent a LoRaWAN message into space, where it was picked up by a passing satellite and beamed back to Earth.
The opportunity to mix *really* old technology with the latest IoT is the kind of project we love doing, not least because you get to hang spend time with other passionate geeks and often in beautiful locations.
Over the past few months we’ve been quietly working on just such a project, and this week Mike and I headed off to do the installation at Woodbridge Tide Mill, a working mill and museum located by the River Deben on the coastal fringe of Suffolk.
I was introduced to Ian at the mill by the Suffolk County Council team back in March. Suffolk has been deploying a LoRaWAN network across the county for the past few years. They use it themselves for things like monitoring meeting room occupancy and smart streetlights, and they also make it available to local businesses, community groups and other organisations in the region.