In order to help get your creative juices flowing, we’ve developed the SIKs – software inspiring kit. It is by no means a definitive list of inspiring apps or concepts, but merely an example of what’s out there and to some degree considered food for thought. Let us know if you know of any others that could be included – please no pitching of your own or friends’ projects. You can use the contact form to help us inspire this community.
Lyft is a ridesharing service launched last summer in the USA, through a mobile app, whereby the drivers are willing to rent their vacant car seats in exchange for some dollars. When a user wants a ride, he can see a map with the nearest drivers’ locations. He can also check the driver’s name, rating, photos and car. After the ride, the user pays through the app, rates the driver and vice-versa. This rating system allows both sides to establish a reputation as friendly and trustworthy.
Find public vacant lots
The 596acres app informs where vacant public lots are, and it facilitates contact between owners. More often than not, these empty lots belong to the city town hall and are abandoned. The 596acres objective is to involve local communities in the vacant lots’ rehabilitation.
Find safe restaurants
The Safe Eats app provides information on 24,000 New York City’s eateries, for those concerned about the cleanliness of an eating establishment. The app signals nearby restaurants with NYC inspection rating, details on any infractions and costumer reviews. This way, users can easily find safe places to eat.
Find nearby working places
The Work+ app helps people get out of their house and into their community by finding places nearby that are good for working.
People can search for new places to work according to different criteria, such as Wi-Fi, coffee, quietness, etc. The app will then find places that meet the users’ criteria. If the user already knows a great place to work he can simply search for nearby locations with the location name or keyword.
Where’s the traffic?
The mijnfile dutch app provides a vision of the speed in the roads where the government has radars. By checking the app the user easily learns where traffic jams start and finish, and also how much time a certain route will take.
Report city issues
Streetreportapp was launched in San Diego, California, and enables citizens to send reports to the city council, regarding things that need to be fixed.
By taking a photo of any issues – graffiti, potholes, street flooding, broken sidewalks, etc – and submitting their location, the report is sent directly to the city council, helping keep the city beautiful.
Help solving crimes
The New York police department launched a crime-reporting app for citizens. The app allows citizens to access crime statistics, see most wanted lists, view rewards for information about past crimes, and it also enables users to submit anonymous tips about crimes they have witnessed. It is possible for users to enter the suspect’s description and add photos from the camera roll.
Life saving app
PulsePoint app empowers citizens to provide life‐saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. When someone is having a cardiac arrest, the app notifies registered CPR trained citizens in the vicinity, to provide assistance. This way, the victims of a cardiac arrest can be assisted while waiting for the ambulance.
The Wi-Fi Finder app helps finding places with Wi-Fi in New York City. It also allows filtering for free or fee-based hotspots, directing the users to the closest location. In the Apple Store & in AOL.
Learn First Aid
This Red Cross nonprofit app provides information on first aid. It gathers experts’ advice for everyday emergencies. The app provides videos, tips, quizzes and step-by-step advice on different emergencies situations such as burns, asthma attacks, bleeding, allergies, etc. It also allows users to call an ambulance. In the Google Play Store.
Backyard food garden exchange
The Igotugot app that remains in prototype phase, but works on a powerful idea, facilitates the contact between home gardeners so that they can exchange food and natural products.
Support politics using a mobile
During the 2012′s presidential campaign, Barack Obama launched an app for his supporters. The app provided information about the candidate and allowed users to take action, find nearby events, share breaking news and donate money. Obama for America app
Helping neighbors with small favors
The goodneighbor app was developed in a Hackathon but which hasn’t left the garage yet, facilitates the contact between neighbors, through SMS notifications, when someone needs a hand with quick tasks. The purpose is to help neighbors building a stronger community.
Satisfied cyclists and cities
The Atlanta city launched an app for recording bicycle trips. The app uses the phone’s GPS to record routes in real-time, allowing the city to know which routes the cyclists prefer. The app also allows users to report problems along their route such as obstructed bike lanes, potholes, etc. The information is sent to the city council in order to improve the bicycle infrastructure.
An app for the elderly.
A Singaporean app has been specifically designed to serve seniors. Taking into account the issues with which elders struggle, the app provides a contact list with large photos, remedy reminders, photo camera function and even emergency notification to the police or fire department. The app was designed to make interaction intuitive and user-friendly.
Explore city gardens.
This San Francisco based App, helps citizens and tourists to explore the city’s gardens, parks and museums. The search can filter interests and locations. The app is focused on the city’s exploration experience, and is expecting to expand its reach, by including tickets, passes and classes.
Driving without texting.
This Japanese app developed by a 12 year old, notifies family and friends of drivers when they are texting and driving simultaneously. Then, they can alert the driver through the app’s notification system that resembles a dog’s bark. The app’s objective is to reduce car crashes.
Remember where the car was parked
This app reminds drivers where they parked their car. Using a GPS locator, it memorizes the spot where the car was parked, with just one click, indicating afterwards the best path to come back to it.
This app can be used to locate any sort of locations: hotels, camping tents, roads, bus stops, etc.
Find the best petrol Station
MafutaGo is a Ugandan app developed by a team of college students that helps finding the nearest petrol station, according to the users’ preferences. It provides different information regarding the petrol station, such as types and prices of petrol available, washing and repair services, coffee shop, etc.
// SIK CROSS INDUSTRIES
Multinational companies like Unilever promote immersive programs with employees and clients. Several employees are annually invited to live with the family of its target, in an effort to understand how they think, feel and live. Watching, in first hand, how the client behaves, helps employees finding better ways to meet their clients needs and desires.
The general manager of a Heinz’ subsidiary company, tried to persuade in vain his team that there was no harm in failing, and therefore he decided to buy a canon and place it in the company’s backyard. This way, those who failed in some project, were allowed to shoot the canon to celebrate that attempt.
Ending a failure in a positive way encouraged new attempts and also ensured no more investment in the initiatives that didn’t work.
The Cavendish laboratory at Cambridge’s University is the place on the planet with more Nobel Prize Winners. Unlike other universities, this Campus had only one canteen, allowing people to chat at morning coffee, lunch and tea. This environment stimulated the exchange of ideas between scientists.
In the Swedish city of Gothenburg, there are over 3,400 homeless people. Most of them tend to find shelter with friends or in shelters, but some sleep under the open sky. A Swedish magazine selected 10 locations where the homeless are likely to spend the night, and made them possible to book, as with any hotel. All the money collected from these reservations goes to socially disadvantaged people. YouTube Video
The Dutch company Hooter launched an ecofriendly taxi service, with scooters powered by electricity. Their main goal is to provide cheap, safe and quick transportation in the city center. The scooters can be called in the streets or by the phone, website or mobile app. YouTube Video
This website promotes citizens’ involvement and government transparency, through the analysis and visualization of the UK public expenses.
Complex information bodies are presented through visually engaging maps, charts and drawings. Unlike many other public bodies, the information is presented accordingly to the users’ interests, being possible to select specific regions’ data, tax level or even policies results.
See the world’s feelings
We Feel Fine is a project that helps people see beauty in the everyday ups and downs of life. Through a massive database of human feelings (collected from any blog entry containing “I feel…”), it organizes them in a website that presents this information in a compelling and beautiful way.
Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel happy more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? What do people feel right now in Portugal? And so on.
Video: Program apps at 12 years old | TedTalk Video
Thomas Suarez is a 12 years old kid that learned by himself how to create videogames. After developing iPhone apps like “Bustin Jeiber”, a whack-a-mole game, he created an app Club at his local school, to help other kids become developers.
Kitchen with soul
Soul Kitchen is a Jon Bon Jovi foundation’s project. It’s a restaurant where costumers make a donation to pay their meal, and if they can’t afford to pay, they work as volunteers. It is frequent for costumers to sit beside a stranger at the same table, getting to know different people. On top of offering tasty food, the environment is cheerful and fun. The restaurant draws near, different people from the same community, putting side-by-side, the rich and the poor.
Big retailers personalize services
Tesco, a British retailer, uses the information it has on its consumers to adjust price and promotions. For example, when a household starts buying diapers, signaling the arrival of a new baby, Tesco sends beer coupons, knowing that the dad will have less time to go to the pub. Amazon, an online retailer, claims that 30% of its sales are generated by its recommendation engine (“you may also like”).
Some insurance firms can now monitor the driving styles of their customers and offer them rates based on their competence (or recklessness) rather than their age and sex. In the Economist.
Attract nearby clients
The Israeli coffee chain Cup ‘o’Joe launched an innovative campaign, with advertising in newspapers with QR codes. It was the first location based print ad. By scanning this code, readers get a coupon offering a free coffee and a map pointing the way to the nearest coffee shop. This way, Cup’o’Joe attracts costumers inside its shop.In Creativity Online. YouTube Video
Mexico pioneered an innovative way to reduce dog’s poo in public gardens. Dog owners can now deposit their dog’s poo in several devices located in public gardens, getting in return free Internet. Through this positive incentive, gardens remain clean, and the surrounding area can access free Wi-Fi. YouTube Video.
Pay for time Coffee Shop
A Russian coffee shop regards itself as an anti-coffee shop, given that the only thing that costumers pay is for the time spent there (aprox. 4 cents a minute). Coffee, tea and deserts are totally free. People can even bring their own food. The coffee shop has table games, Xbox games, Wi-Fi, and a mini cinema theater.
Social network for each neighborhood
Nextdoor is a private social network for neighbors. It allows people from the same neighborhood to connect with others, share news, recommend places and keep the neighborhood safe. This way, it becomes easier to find a babysitter, a trustworthy mechanic, or borrow a table or a ladder. Nextdoor’s mission is to draw neighbors closer and strengthen the community.
This is by no means a definitive list of inspiring apps or concepts, so if you know of any that might help inspire us and the community, let us know using the contact form.