Category Archives: BlueMix

Ideas to App Store – Get it right 1st time

One story that I frequently hear from our customers is that they have had some problems getting their ideas quickly and efficiently turned into new applications or services. Oftentimes they have had a previous attempt at building the application, only to give up on the project part way through.

It is gratifying that they come to us to try to resolve these issues but there are some simple steps that you can take in order to improve your chances of a good development cycle the first time.


I’ll show the 5 steps that I believe can be used to best nurture your ideas and give you the best possible chance of ending up with a useful, market pleasing and hopefully, money earning app at the lowest risk.

The whole process looks like the diagram below, created by the guys at SkoreApp, which you can see in more detail at this link

The process defined as a workflow using SkoreApp

The idea to app process recorded in SkoreApp

1. Think

An ape looking very thoughtful in a zoo.

How often do you think deeply about your ideas?

It’s really important to eke out a little time for thinking during your day. A little time out from the grind can often help you to de-stress, to remember why you work so hard. Often you will subconsciously enhance your idea without concentrating on it.

It helps to find tools to help you to record your valuable thoughts. I use a combination of Trello and Evernote to capture notes, speech and scans of everything that I think might be useful later.

Once you have had some ideas and recorded them then you can approach the first checkpoint in our 5 step plan.

Can I coherently and concisely talk to other people for a couple of minutes about my idea?

If the answer is yes and you can talk about simple things like “Who is going to benefit from my idea?” or “How will my idea pay for itself?” then you are ready to move to step 2.

2. Workshop

This doesn’t have to be a formal workshop session with paid consultants picking apart your ideas. You can start with a simple conversation with your family, friends and business associates about your great ideas. The key is to get your thoughts in front of a diverse group of people so that you can hear various different user groups talk about how they might use your idea, product or service.

An innovation workshop

It can however be highly cost effective to get the thoughts of experienced people at this early stage. It may be that by spending a little money now, you save yourself a whole lot of money and pain at a later date. They may also be able to suggest ways to optimise your eventual development process and reduce the costs that you are likely to incur along the way. A good workshop should tease out those nuggets that show there is valuable competitive advantage in your idea.

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Innovation Workshops with our CTO Chris Cooper

Innovation workshops from KnowNow


Does your business see innovation as the way to keep one step ahead of your competitors? Could you use an expert to quickly get you up to speed in the world of Big Data, the Internet of Things or Industry 4.0?

“KnowNow is one of just a few companies at the forefront of dealing with data in a manner that is suitable to the IoT” – Clive Longbottom, July 2015.

We are offering qualifying organisations the opportunity to engage us for a half day innovation workshop to help uncover new business value in your existing data and find out where connecting your assets will create new sources of valuable information.

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The Developing Situation

Much of KnowNow’s work involves identifying new business value for our customers in their use of data. This can be improving how cities handle environmental emergencies. It can also be helping a start up business to bring it’s data focused idea to life by helping them in developing an application.

A mobile device connected via the cloud

Mobile Development by KnowNow

When we create an application, we choose what we hope are the most appropriate tools for the particular job. Sometimes if we are working for a customer, we will use the tools that the customer proscribes. More often than not though, we are able to decide ourselves which technologies to use. Generally we have settled on developing the application in Bluemix and hosting on Softlayer.

Developing using Bluemix

We like using Bluemix because it enables us to rapidly test new ideas. We can integrate services quickly into our applications and get a fast start in building. There are a great number of services to choose from; databases, single sign-on, analytics and much more. The key factor for us is that these services have been selected by IBM for integration into the platform because they are enterprise class tools. This gives us confidence in recommending them for our customer solutions.

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Boathouse demonstraton in Perspex

IoT Demonstrators a Go Go

Demo Time

KnowNow will be undertaking a mini tour of its IoT demonstrator during September.    The story kicks off with an update to the demo we already have showcasing IBM Bluemix at the IoT Lab in Hursley.    The demo is a bite-sized version of BeatHouse.

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Number 1 on the guide to Startups for London Technology Week!

Number 1

KnowNow are the Number 1 Tech StartUp ranked by the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program at London Tech Week.     A fantastic result and recognition for all the hard work we have put in working with IBM Bluemix and delivering award winning smart city innovations.

Smart City Services Company

KnowNow are a Smart City Services company delivering award winning IT innovation.   David

KnowNow Logo

KnowNow Logo

Patterson (KnowNow co-founder) is talking about KnowNow’s BeatHouse and Flood Event Model projects on Tuesday 16th June from 6pm at the IBM BlueMix Garage on L24, One Canada Square, for BluemIx’s 1st Birthday celebrations.

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Know Now Press Release: BeatHouse Service Launched

BeatHouse by KnowNow Information Ltd


KnowNow Information to launch ‘smart’ domestic energy management system at Eco Technology Show, Brighton

  • Brings level of data analysis benefits found in grand prix motor racing to domestic space and water heating management
  • Reflects rapid growth of Internet of Things (IoT) technology
  • First installation to be in super-insulated, new-build ‘Beat House’ project in Hampshire conservation area

Eco Technology Show, 11-12 June 2015, Amex Stadium, Brighton, East Sussex, UK

KnowNow Information Ltd., Stand E36

Portsmouth, Hampshire – June 10, 2015 – For immediate release:

A new domestic energy management system, designed to minimise space and hot water heating costs throughout the home by using motor racing style data analysis methods and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, is to be launched by its designers, KnowNow Information, at the Eco Technology exhibition in Brighton, June 11-12, Stand E36.

The first system will be installed in Beathouse a new home being built now within a Hampshire conservation area. Constructed with highly insulated factory-made panels, the four-bedroom dwelling will only require four towel rails to heat it. The monthly energy bill calculated by using the Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is around £70 but with KnowNow’s system, total energy costs are expected to be far lower.

Space heating of rooms is anticipated to require minimal energy and to prove the point the house will be closely monitored in real time using the KnowNow system. The system incorporates advanced sensing devices from a global manufacturer of energy monitoring technology, and data analysis resources from IBM Bluemix, a leading cloud-based internet services platform.

A short presentation about the new system and its first application in the house in Hampshire will be given at the Eco Technology Show 2015 by Chris Cooper, chief technical officer of KnowNow Information. It will take place on day one (Thursday June 11th) in the Innovation Zone at 10:40 hrs.

BeatHouse Dashboard is Live

BeatHouse Dashboard v 1.0

The Beat House dashboard is now live.  This is the first version which is just showing basic data. The data source is Woodfords (around the corner).  Which is nothing like Beathouse at all.. but it is a useful sandpit and allows KnowNow to play.   This is version 1.0

Beat House Dashboard

Beat House Dashboard

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Tweets – making them visually enthralling

Our apprentice, Connor Moore, has been using the IBM Bluemix service to create some twitter analysis to support a customer project we are working on – MarineTechBlog. We asked Connor to provide a little detail in his first blog post for us.

Making tweets interesting

In this short blog, I’m going to talk about how I used IBM Bluemix to create a visually interesting graph about marine tech and the location where people have been tweeting about the topic.

To begin with you need a piece of software called Bluemix, which is a product of IBM. Bluemix allows you to create all sorts of wonderful apps and services, for example I created a Twitter loader. Now what this app can do is find all the tweets that have the chosen words in them. E.g. I put in “Marine Tech” and it resulted into every tweet that contained those two words in them. With the ability to do this, I could also find out which country they tweeted it from as well as what state or area by using DashDB which is another piece of software by IBM.

A moored yacht

Helping the marine industry through data visualisation


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KnowNow at the EcoTech Show

Speaking & Showing

EcoTech Show 2015 Logo

Eco Tech Show 2015

KnowNow have been invited to this years EcoTech show in Brighton on June 11th & 12th.   This will be the 3rd year I have attended but the first time I have been as a participant.  KnowNow has both a stand and also a speaking slot.

We will be showing off the Beat House project on stand E36, showcasing the technology and telling the story as to why we picked the components we did and what we expect to happen with this project.   Plus, I will take the opportunity to talk about some of the other exciting new innovations KnowNow has got involved in, from our smart cities consulting and design service, through to our big data expertise and the award-winning Flood Event Model.

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