REDEMPTION MEDIA BLOG

Playing it safe: road safety

Playing it Safe: Road Safety is a fun way of learning about staying safe on the roads.

Our brief was to create an app to help 3 – 11 year olds learn more about road safety through playing fun mini-games.

Kids choose their character and then look after them as they explore the world.

In Be Bright, Be Seen they keep their character safe by dressing them in clothes and accessories that help them to be seen by motorists. In Safer Crossing, kids must choose the right place and time to get their character across the road safely.

They can also test their knowledge in a beat the clock quiz and try the addictive traffic lights game to learn the light sequence.

There’s also plenty of great tips and advice for parents to make sure the connection is made between the lessons from the games and the real-life dangers on the road.

We teamed up with e-learning specialists DESQ to create the App, which was funded by SWWITCH (South West Wales Integrated Transport Consortium).

You can choose to play in English or Welsh.

Playing it Safe: Road Safety is available now on Google Play and iTunes.

UK Foodbank App Launched

Available now – Foodbank App for iOS and Android created by Redemption Media.

Download the free Foodbank App, support your local Foodbank and help end hunger in the UK.

Despite being the 6th largest economy in the world, 13 million people in the UK live below the poverty line. Last year, Foodbanks fed around 350 000 people in the UK – that’s equivalent to a city the size of Cardiff or Coventry. There are well over 400 local Foodbanks nationwide, and new Foodbanks are opening every week.

Foodbanks rely entirely on food donations from the public to help people in crisis. But as supporters of our own local Sheffield S6 Foodbank, we know how easy it is to forget to buy a few extra tins of tuna or packets of cornflakes when we visit the supermarket, and sometimes we don’t remember details of the specific items that our Foodbank needs.

As an experienced and successful app development company, we at Redemption Media decided to use our skills to develop a smartphone app that allows our local Foodbank to communicate which items they require and how urgently, so that supporters would always have the Foodbank shopping list at their fingertips.

We launched the Sheffield S6 Foodbank app in December 2012 and the app has resulted in both an increase in food donations and a better matching of what is needed to what is given. The app has also allowed the Sheffield S6 Foodbank to communicate with supporters when they need volunteers or have good news items to share.

After the success of our local app, we wanted to give other Foodbanks the opportunity to benefit from this excellent resource so we decided to roll out the app to the rest of the UK.

After making some key improvements and adding new features to the app, we launch the app nationwide on 3rd March 2014.

Supporters go to the Apple App Store (iOS users) or Google Play Store (Android users) and download the Foodbank app for free. They are then asked to select their local Foodbank from a dropdown list and are then able to see the unique shopping list, news items and information for that Foodbank.

Staff at each Foodbank have their own content management system and can update their shopping list, add information and even send notifications (instant messages) to supporters as frequently as they wish.

With over 40 Foodbanks signed up to the app and more being added every week, we are really excited about the impact that the app will have on the work of the Foodbanks nationwide. We are really proud of the technology that we have developed to support this app and have integrated several new features that we hope will make the app even more effective. For example, supporters can use the app to set a weekly alarm to remind them to pick up items for the Foodbank when they do their weekly grocery shop.

As uptake of the app increases, we have plans to add additional features and provide resources to the Foodbanks to help them use the app to maximum effect. We also hope to offer the app to Foodbanks in other nations across the world.

2014 Tech Predictions

So, its that time of year when every man and his dog comes out with their predictions for the coming 12 months and so I thought, why not join them? After all, I’m usually bang on with most of my predictions..…. !

The drone

Drones have been around for a very long time and so the media hype around them has been quite amusing to watch.

For years the defence industry has been using unmanned aircraft for surveillance purposes and kids have been able to build and fly model airplanes.

Why then is it any surprise that drones are becoming more popular and potentially commercialised as a delivery device?

I think drones will really have their year in 2015 but, with 6 USA states granting air space for domestic drone testing in 2014, we have an interesting few months ahead of us. (http://bbc.in/1fbawKQ)

With 4G capabilities beginning to cover the UK and USA, the potential for high quality video relaying from a drone in addition to GPS capabilities will result in some great developments.

Issues surrounding safety will probably cause the largest problem with large-scale rollouts but, I honestly think we‚Äôll see our skies occupied by drones sooner than we might have expected and it‚Äôs something I‚Äôm excited about…as I build my first racing drone ;)

 

The indie games console

There have been a few attempts recently to build a games console that is more ‘open’ than existing offerings from the giants РMicrosoft, Sony and Nintendo. But, will 2014 be the year that a credible mass-market device launches?

Running an operating system like Android could be possible but, what hardware would run it? What controllers?

I’m not too convinced that Android is the ideal operating system for such a device but, it definitely could be forked into some other mutant as Samsung seem to have fun doing.

I’d predict that there is a demand for such a console though, an affordable one which would bridge the gap between a high-end games console and mobile devices.

As an indicator just how much demand there is for this kind of concept, look at how successful Kickstart project, OUYA, has been! – http://kck.st/1mEZnqX

The starter computer

The ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga and BBC Micro all helped a generation learn to code at the same time as having fun playing games.

Our games machines of today only really allow us to consume and the devices capable of coding are, in my opinion, too geeky for kids to learn on.

So, when will we see the re-launch of a commercially viable device that can do both again?

Raspberry Pi tried to bring coding to the masses with it’s very cheap unit but, honestly, I don’t see how a 10 yr old will easily self-learn to code a fun game quickly and easily on this device. You also need loads of bits just to get the command prompt on a screen Рkeyboard, PSU, cables etc.

Where has the idea of a simple little unit like a ZX Spectrum gone??

All it needs is a simple coding language that an average 10 year old could learn and then have great fun playing some of the best games.

Also, it’d have to be affordable and open enough for established coders to target and develop for.

Such a machine, at a great price point of circa £99 could be a massive hit.

If it doesn‚Äôt happen in the first three months of 2014 I might get on and start the project‚Ķunless…Kano is the massive success which it looks like it might be? (http://tcrn.ch/1dTNI3U)

But then, it still uses a Raspberry Pi. Although making the Pi more accessible, I still believe the OS and access to coding are prohibitively complex compared to the older platforms I’ve mentioned. We’ll see though!

 

The wearable watch

Apparently Apple have created a killer team of fashion designers and engineers who are about to unleash the coolest watch we’ve ever seen.

I‚Äôm not convinced…I mean, I lived through the 80s and although the digital watch was popular, it didn‚Äôt exactly wipe out the Swiss watch industry. I‚Äôm still saving for my Omega and can‚Äôt see any Apple watch distracting me away from a classic ‚Äòengineered‚Äô watch (http://tcrn.ch/1dTOzS3)

But, hey ho…Samsung have got one on the market so I guess every other tech company should as well?

Only with diamonds on it may I be tempted…

So, there are some predictions for 2014…what are yours? Let‚Äôs re-group in 12 months and see what happened!

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Redemption Media profiled in DFF brochure

Digital Fiction Factory (DFF) is a creative partnership between the BBC, Channel Four and Creative England to pioneer new approaches to multi-layered TV viewing. In Summer 2012 we were appointed to act as IPTV (Smart TV) Consultants for three projects, all of which were looking at how a ‘four screen approach’ (mobile, tablet, desktop and Smart TV) can be used to revolutionise the way viewers watch and interact with TV content.

Our work was profiled in the latest DFF brochure and you can see the brochure and read more about the projects we worked on here.

Read more about our work on these projects in the consultancy section of our website.