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 to content, we are providing trusted & personalised information, entertainment, and infotainment, with hooks to continually use the service.   Finally, in terms of local growth, we will generate local employment and local economic activity.

How is this possible?

Through a collaborative partnership bringing some great technologies together under a new innovation called the kn-i platform.  It will deliver useful information in real time to citizens, businesses and government via a sustainable business model, that is rooted in the local community it serves.   Providing a space for new creative works to be showcased, kn-i is a portal for information distribution to a community.

kn-i is funded through a variety of different revenue streams.  Most importantly a good percentage of the advertising revenue is used to subsidise the content being displayed and interacted with.   These funds are spent with local creatives so as to offer them a platform to show off their talents.

The partners involved are providing screens, content & advertising management, augmented reality, network management, and a secure platform to run this on.  Without these partners, kn-i could not be realised.

What else does kn-i do?

The kn-i platform is a modular beast, as such, it is very easy to grow different add-ons. The add-ons can come in a variety of configurations.  Below is a list of some of the options to date:

  • kn-i on a pod
  • kn-i at a festival
  • kn-i in the stadia
  • kn-i as a pop-up
  • kn-i with bikes
  • kn-i with charging
  • kn-i on way finder
  • kn-i with logistics

We envisage plenty of other options developing over time. However, the first couple of kn-i deployments will be kn-i with logistics, kn-i on a pod and kn-i on a way-finder.    The project is also on the EU Smart Cities Marketplace commitment number 6026.  KnowNow would welcome any collaborative partners or places that are interested in having access to the kn-i platform.

EU Smart Cities logo
EU Smart Cities logo

KnowNow Information are moving the kn-i platform project from pre-alpha to Alpha phase.  The kn-i platform is born.

Trusting your Information

In another blog, I mentioned that this project would be very specific in what data was used and how it was used

“…we will promise to clearly state what is being done with your information and the benefit this knowledge provides you and your wider community.   Plus, offering you easy to opt out opportunities.   The power of control is in the users hands”.

What is important is giving the user a great experience, providing the user with easy-to-use tools, as well as capturing via a natural language input how you want your data to be used.  It will provide an open audit of how your data led to a series of unique exchanges that then led to something interesting and compelling coming your way.

Content is King

The kn-i platform will have some cracking locally derived content that is nationally and even internationally consumed.  We will employ local content curators who will be responsible for making sure the local kn-i platform is the most relevant, sparking and best place to go. Mixing with the best that other cities have created too.  The kn-i ecosystem will develop over time, with new champions coming to the fore creating content fit for the information age due to the rich nature of the content generated by the users themselves as a collective.  The exploitation of this data will be offered as an open data stream and the kn-i platform will have an open API to allow it to receive as well send open data. The net result will be a great vehicle for delivering joined-up citizen intelligence, digital advertising and interactive pedestrian areas/sidewalks.

Local Growth

The kn-i platform is a multi-engined growth engine.   It will generate job demand immediately from the hiring of the local content curator, but also with the commissions the curator awards to local artists and creatives. Secondary economic benefits accrue from the kn-i platform increasing the number and types of transactions that can occur when you bring parties together.  Depending on the local kn-i deployment, there is a chance a city will potentially create a kn-i place, which in turn becomes part of the city experience.   Thus generating additional Gross Value Added (GVA) for the city.  Tertiary economic benefits flow back into the city government due to better quality open data on what people are doing which allows the city to adopt a different set of policies that improve life, reduce cost and increase efficiency.

Born in Hampshire

KnowNow Information is proud to have sourced from local suppliers most of the components and collaborative partners that are delivering the solution.  A selection of our local collaborators who have signed up include BCI Digital, University of Portsmouth, Queensbury Shelters (all Portsmouth); University of Southampton,  NQuiring Minds, Plug N’Play, (all Southampton).   We welcome any other local supplier who would like to make a difference.

Wayfinder post
Future host of kn-i platform – the start of an interactive sidewalk solution

The kn-i platform is really the start of something awesome.  Although in some respects the platform is the culmination of what Dave and I originally set out to do with KnowNow Information, which was to make real-time information, useful, now!

Thanks for reading,  Chris