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.
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.
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 😭
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.
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.