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!”.
Smart Cities advocate Chris Cooper is a co-founder of KnowNow Cities, who provide a design consulting service for those involved in smart cities. In this fourth part of our Future Watch series Chris opens up about the ingredients and leadership required to turn a city into a smart one.
G: We’re going to have to move on to your smart cities article. If you could just quickly explain what Know Now does for smart cities?
C: What we do with smart cities is we provide a design consulting service for people like architects, developers and local authorities with the idea that if you want to start connecting buildings, homes and workplaces to digital networks and having information flowing from one place to another, you need some type of design that makes sure the data goes where it’s supposed to.
The people accessing it are those that can. So it’s secure, it’s safe, it’s sustainable. It continues to do what it does on the tin because you’re starting to interact in between something physical that will have a lifespan of maybe 150, 200 years versus something that could have a lifespan of weeks or months or years depending on what it is.
Batteries, for example, the maximum I’ve seen a battery last was a wireless sensor one and is up to around 10 years.
Cognicity – the business accelerator KnowNow participated in 2015.
When it came to KnowNow’s innovative new consent tool what we needed was a view of the market. We needed to move from a hunch to a viable innovation backed up with evidence.
A consequence of being on a business accelerator is that you take a more methodical based approach to your innovation validation. This means fail fast and do the bare minimum and push only what has a positive response. Do more of that and less of the things that are not so positive. This is an iterative experience.
For smart cities to be considered a success they will have many different types of services e.g. for health, mobility, energy and crime. How services are delivered, measured and valued will be transformed and citizens will now consume experiences and share most things that were previously owned. It will just make sense that way. However, there is a big assumption in this futuristic view. Consent.
What’s the big assumption?
That citizens will have allowed some quite personal information to be consumed, shared and distributed. Yet, this laissez faire view does not necessarily work for all. In particular when it comes to the European countries with the new GDPR, a growing number of citizens are hesitant about sharing their data freely, according to the latest MEF report some 41% of citizens have this concern. Yet a total clamp down on personal information use is not appropriate either, because no personal information share means no experiences and no transformed services.
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, ComputerWeekly.com 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.
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.
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!
Highlight for KnowNow on week 6 at Cognicity had to be the superb PR & marketing workshop. Yet again the high standard of workshops delivered by Cognicity is maintained. The other news was on the interoperability front, with an agreement in principle between KnowNow & Buzz Streets to collaborate on a use case for the demo day; as well as a very productive discussion with Milos Milisavljevic the CEO of Strawberry Energy. More on those developments later.
As per the heading, as KnowNow is half way through the challenge perhaps now is also a good opportunity to reflect too. What were KnowNow’s expectations and how does this compare to what has happened? Plus what lies ahead in the next 6 weeks.
The 4th week at Cognicity KnowNow saw us receive a number of visitors to our Level 24 office. Which amongst the many highlights led to a more developed cultural use case for the Docklands Museum. Plus we participated in a great product development workshop. More on that later in the blog. The challenge participants are embracing interoperability which is great news for the kn-i platform, the Cognicity Challenge and Canary Wharf. On a news note, David & I had a great discussion with our home city. Watch this space to see if kn-i will be landing in Portsmouth soon. Well by 2016 we hope!
From a challenge perspective we are a third of the way through. A great vibe is brewing on Level 24 as the teams settle into a pattern, helping each other out and starting to see how we will deliver a cool demo in 8 weeks! Check out the KnowNow Wall including our banner in the picture below. The second cohort starts on Monday. We the first cohort feel like veterans now the newbies are starting. Exciting times.
Project Pods is a very exciting new concept being led by KnowNow information. The project is all about connectivity, relevance, content and local growth. It will also be the birth of the KnowNow Information ‘kn-i platform’.
In terms of connectivity we are enabling free urban wifi. As long as you are on the ‘app’ and near our access point you are in the kn-i connected ecosystem. In terms of relevance, this is all about the user. Making sure we understand what the user wants, what the user will allow and how will all parties benefit from sharing details about where someone is and what they may wish to do. With regards content, we are providing trusted & personalised information, entertainment, Infotainment and hooks to continually use the service. Finally in terms of local growth, we will generate local employment and local economic activity.