We applied research-based methodology to our project starting with investigation and analysis of what could be the most vital problems and challenges of the city like KAEC.
To better identify those issues we have looked at the urban and social development history of modern cities like Brasilia in Brazil, Ordos in China or Songdo in South Kore that similarly have started their life on a paper and have been designed and built completely from scratch. This is very characteristic feature of KAEC that opens up big possibilities but also pose some dangers that could be addressed. Than we thought how those problems could be potentially addressed with smartphone app. In result we have created the app composed of several separate modules / mini-apps addressing each of the issues individually.
GUIDE AND EVENTS
Where to go and what to do in a new city ? These are actually very typical questions that are addressed by many urban apps today. It is not very innovative part of the project but essential must-have element of good city app. We built event module and guide module where you can browse POI on map, filter results that matter for you the most and browse place photos. We added several points to better illustrate how this module works - naturally it will have to be populated with new actual sites that will be constructed in the new city. Than standard element like driving directions and city transportation plans may be included.
SHAPE THE CITY
As we investigated Brasilia city that was designed completely from scratch despite its unquestionable beauty, also served as an illustration of the dangers of over-planning and was often said to be a bit artificial as city was not naturally shaped with evolving human needs over the years. The challenge is how to make people to participate in the process of city creation to make it more natural and involve particular needs and how to acquire valuable business data that investors can use when making decision. In the video above we have briefly illustrated how locals can make their proposal submission while on the go. Proposal with user position read from GPS and optional photo is saved in backend database. This way businesses can learn about actual people needs in the area. There is nobody feeling small problems and needs better than locals staying in a place. When making geo-tagged proposal it is automatically assigned to one of three city districts we knew locations (we do not have detailed data of district boundaries so we made approximate shapes in assignment algorithm) or is assigned to "other category".
Proposals can be discussed and voted. City officials may similarly run votings and restrict areas from where they would like to get votes to know better people opinions !
With Korean experimental Songdo city analysis we've learnt that you might have ultramodern place built from scratch with smart technologies very much a part of its DNA, but a lot of people will not feel good in such place because of the very fundamental problem - loneliness. If you come to a new place you don't know anyone. If you are a foreigner it is even a bigger challenge to make any friendships. We tried to deal with that with MatchMe app module. You can find people nearby you that share common interests and start conversations. While you are on a train or waiting in a queue line you might use this moment to establish new great connections. It may be a start of the new business venture with person you met or beginning of new friendship. App is communicating with our central server which is constantly monitoring users positions and calculating if match can be done. With this module we do not only want to make KAEC a good place to do business but also a nice place to live and interact with other inhabitants. You can activate your app lookout mode if you're for example going out for the lunch. Chances are there will be other user sharing your specific interests and you may spend a nice time together !
In Match Me module in order to have match identified the following criteria has to be met:
- both users are staying in the close distance
- they share at least one common interests
- they share at least one common language
- preference criteria about age and gender are met
- profile is fully completed Both users have to have match section opened and active lookout mode activated. We are automatically deactivating lookout while you move to other section in order to preserve battery life.
This module is strictly intended for travelers and expats who are going to live in KAEC. We think it's also advisable to learn at least fundamentals of the language of the country where you're going to stay. As the city is going to be international business and tourists destination this app module can help them in feeling a bit more comfortable and can be also an incentive to start full language course !
We have prepared 2 apps versions - with and without mp3 recording for phrasebook module. The first one will take up less space and is much faster to download however is lacking mp3 recordings. The second one takes up more space on your smartphone but is equipped with voice recordings.
We have prepared them with professional Arabic language speaker but unfortunately we could not find professional native Saudi Arabian speaker here in Poland. As we are aware of different accents across different Arabic-language countries we hope it will not affect the final quality seriously. In final app version voice recordings could be repeated with native Saudi Arabian voice.