Tag Archives: Bluemix

Work Experience with KnowNow

This last week we have been lucky to have Joseph with us on work experience from Cams Hill School in Fareham. He was able to work on a few of our current projects and describes the experience below.

Joseph with David celebrating a successful work experience!

Joseph with David celebrating a successful work experience!

Hi, I’m Joe and I have been gifted with the opportunity of working with KnowNow for a week.
I am 15 and I love computers and programming. For my Work Experience I was delighted to know that KnowNow were happy to take me on.

In school we had been had been using tools such as Raspberry Pi‘s to create our own minecraft servers.
I also was part of a club of programmers in our school. We use languages such as HTML and CSS to provide more online applications for teachers.

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Students help build customer service

We just said goodbye to two excellent summer students, one undergraduate and one post grad masters. They have been working on a customer project using IBM’s cognitive computing system, Watson.

The Cognitive Adventurer – David Ralph


David Ralph is a Masters student having graduated with a Bachelors degree from the School of Computing, University of Portsmouth. Responsible for the development of the API and the backend services. David enjoyed using Bluemix to rapidly create the customer service and in particular the Watson cognitive capabilities.


We have used machine learning to perform intelligent analysis of our information sources to generate content for our users which offers valuable business insights.

Front-End Guru – Jack Mason


Jack Mason is a second-year undergraduate also from the School of Computing, University of Portsmouth, studying Web Technologies. He is responsible for the front end and the user experience. Jack enjoyed the opportunity to make his own choice of enabling technologies for the project. Continue reading

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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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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IoT and BeatHouse from KnowNow

This week we have been setting up a demonstration of our BeatHouse service at the IBM Internet of Things (IoT) lab in Hursley, Winchester. It will be used by ourselves and IBM to demonstrate how you can use their suite of technologies to rapidly develop new services using real-time information.

What is BeatHouse anyway?

BeatHouse - Grand Prix analytics for your home

BeatHouse – Grand Prix analytics for your home

BeatHouse is our name for a home monitoring and actuation system that allows you to automate the control of heat and energy throughout your home. Sensors measure the temperatures in various spaces and signals are sent to vents that allow the heat to be efficiently shared.

The name BeatHouse comes from the initial deployment – a new build home being built in the middle of the South Downs National Park. It is replacing the old police house that stood in it’s place, hence the name. You can watch video of the original house being demolished here.

The new BeatHouse is being built to Passivhaus specifications which means that it will be highly insulated. It will only take 4 towel rails and the heat from its occupants to provide all of the heat that will be required. This has made it the perfect location for us to test our sensor technologies.

So how does BeatHouse from KnowNow Information work?

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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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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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Week 8 to 11 @ Cognicity – Final Countdown

Final Countdown

Apologies for the break in the blog cycle and the jump to week 11 from the last update way back on week 7.  A personal saga has been my prime focus.  However,  loads has happened and we are now on the final stretch of Cognicity.


Final Countdown

Week 8 was all about Interoperability.  Plus we got to pitch to Sir George!  Week 9 we should have met the client but missed the meeting.  Week 10 we finally did meet the client.   We are now on the final countdown gunning towards the finishing line.

Cognicity has been a hugely positive deal for KnowNow.  A truly fab experience so far and you never know.  We may even win it!


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Week 7 @ Cognicity

KnowNow’s 7th week at Cognicity

CW March sunset

Sunset this week from Level 24

Waterloo Sunset

I am lucky in some respects in that I have seen some cracking sunsets.  With the evenings getting longer photos like the one above will have to be taken later and later.  Which is what I am expecting as KnowNow nears the finishing line for the Cognicity Challenge.  I am sure KnowNow will be following a proud tradition of all IT projects of working late till the deadline!

This week saw us focus on pulling together a team of fellow Cognicters delivering a Interoperability point of view for a pending visit at the start of week 8 from Sir George Iacobescu    (chairman of Canary Wharf Group).   How that pitch went will be the subject of next weeks blog! Plus, I had a great session with Luis Lopes on a Business Model Canvas walkthrough on our Augmented Reality capability that we are demonstrating as part of the kn-i showcase.

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