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 to 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:

💜 “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!” 💜

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.

Improving student safety – an open discussion

We want to get students involved in the conversation around improving student safety. They are the experts in when they feel unsafe and what might help students feel safer when they are out at night with friends or on their own.

Crowd-sourcing ideas feels like a good approach, so we are hosting a conversation for students to vote on statements other people have made about student safety, and share their own point of view. We will run this conversation throughout April, and then share our findings in a report in May. Please join in – the more the merrier. You can take part right here:

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Did I Lock Up?

Around the time the 2020 COVID lockdown started we had a spate of burglaries in our neighbourhood. Not super smart or successful as nearly everyone was at home, so the chap found himself getting chased down the street on more than one occasion – but it was unsettling nevertheless.

When lockdown happened, all of our local government work evaporated – it was humbling to realise how little the promise of smart cities mattered at that point in time, and I think a great number of talented teccies had to cope with a collapsing ego and recognise what the really important work was. Suddenly nurses, carers, corner shops and postal workers were in the headlines and the rest of us could only applaud their efforts at keeping us going.

With most of our work disappearing I had to decide what to do with my developers, Traecy and Vil. Rather than furlough them I thought that maybe we could do something to help our neighbourhood.

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Our two big projects of 2020

This post looks back at our work to create a county-wide LoRaWAN network and our two biggest smart city / smart community projects of 2020 – Falls prevention system for older people, and MyWay student safety.

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#50GameChangers

Thames valley #50GameChangers – Thingitude’s Mike, Mark, Traecy and Vil

Thingitude selected as Thames Valley tech and digital future maker in ConnectTVT’s 50 Game Changers 2020 cohort

02 March 2020: Thingitude has been selected in ConnectTVT’s 50 Game Changers 2020 cohort. It joins the Thames Valley’s breakthrough tech and digital startups and scaleups, making global impact in their industries through market-changing technologies, innovation and world-class talent.

Thingitude delivers community-focused “Internet of Things” projects, and over the last year it has been working to prevent falls among older people in West Berkshire and to help women students feel safer walking home at night in Reading.

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