2016 was a very interesting year from KnowNow’s perspective. We made a decision to pivot, we won some battles, lost some skirmishes and we have made some customers very happy. We also had to say goodbye to some old friends too. As Dave & I both said to each other at our end of year review “it has been a rollercoaster of a year!”.
It is amazing how in early December, you wouldn’t read any flood news at all – the next week, and ever since, it is almost all that is in the news and our twitter feeds are awash with alerts, warnings and heartbreaking stories from those affected. The floods that affected the UK after Storm Desmond (a name that would grace a character from any U.S. law drama), have tested the resiliency of some areas to the absolute limit, sometimes beyond.
What happens at the moment
Warning map for Storm Desmond
When there is a forecast for heavy rain for any area in the UK then a resiliency team is usually activated who will try to work out which areas may be affected and deploy resources accordingly. Usually this is done on the basis of local expertise and known trouble spots.
The problem at the planning stage is that the forecast for rainfall is not particularly granular and the effects of localised rainfall on a particularly area is not usually well known. This can lead to poor planning decisions being made, not through any fault of the operators but because there are too many variables.
At the service delivery stage it is often a case of first come first served. At best case, some of the resources are diverted to known break points which are likely to be at severe risk. In the worst case, essential resources are deployed in inappropriate locations where those resources have little chance of making an incremental improvement in the outcomes for those affected.
Knowing that it is flooding is one thing. What would be more relevant is being able to do something about it pro-actively before the situation gets out of control. Flooding is going to happen, no amount of barriers will stop some floods. The approach is… how to live and adapt to flood events. Continue reading →
KnowNow have been recognised by the Open Data Institute as Open Data pioneers. Our Flood Event Model was developed solely with Open Data sources and still achieves 85% accuracy in predicting where emergency resources should be deployed in during extreme weather conditions.
Having just come back to the UK from a smart cities conversation on the other side of the world, I would like to share some thoughts. The role of KnowNow is to prepare the IT architectural blueprint for this new smart place. In effect create the wiring and usage diagram of where IT will be deployed and how it will be used. As much as you have an architectural blueprint for a plot to be built showing the materials and measurements. The IT infrastructure needs similar design outputs to ensure that the IT works as required, when required for the right person.
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
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.
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.
Group photo of our cohort on week 1 of the challenge in January 2015
The kn-i Pitch
After 11 weeks on a start up challenge. One of the net results is a better pitch on what your product does and how you better sell yourself and what you do. On the 13th April, David & I got the chance in 5 minutes to pitch to Canary Wharf Group.
Here is that pitch including a few of the slides we used.