JOY / / City Living

Smart Apps for Smart Cities

12.05.16 By Bhartiya City

Whilst most of us would like to claim that we know the place we call home pretty well, nobody wants to be a stranger to their own city. So when it comes to apps that provide services and information to a city, we often only think of tourists looking to find out what’s hot, where to go, how to get there, what to eat and what areas are worth avoiding at night. This might be true of some cities, but not ours. Designed to help you live, work, shop, learn and play, the Intelligent Community Management app, Whimbl, goes far beyond this.

Akin to having your finger on every touchpoint in the city, everything a citizen could conceivably need is made available at the touch of a button. Whimbl prides itself on allowing people to interact with services in the city on a whole new level, with the ability to make reservations and purchases, manage finances and utilise professional services city-wide all via the same app.

We live in a world where doing more with less is the way of life and cities the world over are searching for ways to reduce staffing requirements, equipment and costs, whilst at the same time looking to save time and become more efficient. Apps can serve as an easy way for governing bodies to communicate vital information with an entire city’s population at once, with content easily updatable from one place. With all of this in mind, cities are quickly turning to smart city apps.

Smart App City | Bhartiya City

Smart App City | Spain

Credit: Flickr

In Spain, ‘Smart App City’ was created to serve across multiple cities, bringing together information for tourists as well as citizens. Businesses can offer their products and services inasmuch as contact information and location, but unlike Whimbl, it’s not possible to make purchases or to personalise elements of the app in the same way. Citizens can find out where the nearest gas station is, check traffic and make sports reservations. Overall, the app functions as a hub of valuable information accessible in one place rather than a management tool capable of keeping you and your day on track. Whimbl has developed this concept further by adding functions such as ‘Whimbl Wallet’, designed to make finance easy. It’s lighter than leather, smaller than the real thing and it’s easier to keep track of. With bills, credit cards and contracts all stored in one place, Bhartiya City’s citizens always have stress-free access to the things they rely on day to day. App owners can also utilise the innovative ‘My Day’ feature which stores and displays any bookings or appointments you have made for the day, as well as your scheduled deliveries and pickups in an easy to digest format.

Open-data availability in a city is playing a key role in smart city apps becoming successful. Cities in Europe such as Glasgow, Manchester and Amsterdam are all sharing vital data that anyone can access, use and share. Data on health, education, train times from rail companies, housing data from the government and anything in-between can all help a city to improve and grow. Once made available, researchers and companies can then take their understanding of the data to develop apps for their cities, solving many of the urban problems we face. Encouraging of economic development and entrepreneurial spirits, Helsinki, Finland was a city transformed by the concept, with an abundance of apps now available to citizens, capable of improving and even changing lives.

Whimbl is set to offer a host of services and capabilities not yet offered fully by a smart city app, making the Bhartiya City ICM a game-changer for smart cities in India and beyond. Whether you want to make a reservation at the new sushi bar downtown or your garden looks like it could use a tidy-up from a professional, Whimbl does it all.