Purple Flag award for Reading, and honorable mention for MyWay

Purple Flag logo and banner that says "Painting the town purple: excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy"

Every reasonable sized town wants a thriving Evening and Night Time Economy. But wanting one and having one are not the same thing. There are lots of factors to consider.

One vital factor is how safe the town feels to the paying public.

Purple Flag is an international accreditation to reward those towns that achieve vibrant and thriving night time economies, and it strives toย help create safe and thriving locations at night for all users.

Reading has recently achieved Purple Flag status and I’m delighted that our MyWay personal safety app played a part:

๐Ÿ’œ “The work on safety is a fantastic highlight in this submission, in particular the My Way Reading app. The features showing which areas are better lit and how busy streets are can really assist people travelling in the ENTE [Evening and Night Time Economy), allowing them to choose a route they feel most comfortable with. Great work here!” ๐Ÿ’œ

This is great news for Reading, and real evidence that co-designing IoT solutions with the community can deliver real, tangible benefits for the town and the people who live and work there.

We’d love to see MyWay helping people across the UK feel safer in their town and city centres, especially after dark. If your local authority / BID wants that too, then we’d love to chat.

MyWay in the media!

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:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0gqzw69

Today, Traecy and I are on BBC News – talking about how we turned Traecy’s idea into reality using an app and Internet of Things sensors:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-67545358

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.

Woodbridge Tide Mill

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.

Woodbridge Tide Mill
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The Things Conference 2022 – review

Little did I know that The Things Conference in 2020 would be the last big event I’d go to for well over 2 years – thanks COVID ๐Ÿ˜ญ

After a forced break The Things Conference made a glorious return last week, and so I found myself on the Eurostar direct to Amsterdam, eager for two very full days with more than a thousand other folk geeking out together as once more Amsterdam became the global epicentre of all things IoT.

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New version of MyWay student safety app goes live

TL;DR – feedback from students has been built into the new version of MyWay. Key changes include the ability to report incidents of drink spiking, and a more intuituve and faster user experience.

Our student safety app (MyWay) has been co-designed with groups of women students from the University of Reading over the past 3 years, and we have just released a new version which incorporates feedback from this year’s Freshers.

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