Mobile apps offer a measurable and direct way for governments to engage, transact and deliver services to the public. I speak with Alex Knight from BCIT on the value of government mobile apps for constituents, including emergency scenarios.
The City of Richmond, British Columbia, launches Metro Grove, 14 Oranges’ mobile-first app service for managing field workers. Part of Richmond’s innovative Digital Strategy, the app will drive increased inspection efficiency making for a more business friendly and smarter city.
The City of Richmond has launched a new mobile app to increase the efficiency of its building inspectors. The mobile application, based on the Metro Grove Mobile Workforce Management Service provided by Richmond-based 14 Oranges, allows inspectors to perform and file an inspection from their smartphone instead of the current mixture of paper and interactive voice response (IVR) based systems.
The new app is part of a broad initiative rooted in Richmond’s innovative Digital Strategy, which was approved by City Council in 2015. The goal of the strategy is to integrate the Cities’ systems using a middleware approach, dubbed the Digital Nervous Ecosystem and enhance customer service and improve efficiency through the use of new digital technology. This application is one of a part of a series of initiatives that will help improve the way the City of Richmond meets the needs of the public and businesses operating in the City.
The app provides a simple, straightforward way for Richmond’s building inspectors to view their respective inspection task list for the day on their smartphone of choice and input, post, and synchronize their results and comments to the existing inspection management system. This app simplifies the current approach of handwriting inspection results in the field that in-office clerks input later or navigating IVR trees to feed the information back into the City.
“Contractors and trades will be able to get almost instantaneous feedback of the inspection results and remediate any reported deficiencies sooner,” said Malcolm Brodie, the Mayor of the City of Richmond, “Overall, this enhances the customer experience and satisfaction, demonstrating that Richmond is a business-friendly city.”
The smartphone technology, developed against the 14 Oranges (http://www.14oranges.com) Metro Grove Mobile Workforce Management Service, delivers a persistent and stable connection to the legacy backend systems for data retrieval and updates enabled by Richmond’s Information Technology Department. As well, the mobile platform provides easy and uncluttered navigation between screens. This enables the inspectors to complete their assignments quickly and efficiently.
About the City of Richmond
The City of Richmond is BC’s fourth largest municipality with a vision “to be the most appealing, livable and well-managed community in Canada.” An Official Venue City of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Richmond is internationally acclaimed for its cultural diversity, healthy lifestyles, and natural environment. Home for Vancouver International Airport, deep sea port facilities, and the Canada Line, Richmond is a global centre for transportation, trade and distribution. The City of Richmond has received numerous provincial, national and international accolades for innovation and excellence in service delivery and local government administration.
Media Contact: Ted Townsend
Director, Corporate Communications and Marketing, City of Richmond
Tel: 604-276-4399, Cell: 604-516-9585
About 14 Oranges
14 Oranges is a leading provider of turnkey mobile application services to support the efficient management of mobile workforces. Headquartered in Richmond, BC with offices in Ottawa and Halifax, 14 Oranges sells its services to government agencies and medium to large enterprises who are dependent on mobile workforces. 14 Oranges’ mobile application services brings a mobile-first design approach, allowing mobile workers to use their own smartphones to stay on-task, minimize drive time and increase valid data capture. Managers realize an immediate ROI both in terms of worker efficiency and the ability to manage more workers from a single interface.
Cabo Transfers today announced the release of its revised website to simplify booking and paying for private and group transfers from the San Jose de Cabo (SJD) airport to any of the resorts in the surrounding area. The new website, developed by 14 Oranges, allows customers and partners to book their premium services from a website or smartphone on the go.
Cabo Transfers, the premiere, private, full concierge transfer and excursion service for visitors to Cabo San Lucas and the surrounding area, today announced the launch of their new website supporting both standard web and mobile browsers. The website allows visitors and partners to easily book and pay for a comfortable and luxurious transfer from the airport to their preferred Cabo San Lucas vacation destination.
In addition to airport transfer services, Cabo Transfers also offers roundtrip private driver services for dinners, trips to the grocery store and excursions to noted local attractions such as Hotel California, the Palmilla Golf Club or Cabo Dolphin Encounters. With more travellers booking their accommodations through services such as Airbnb and VRBO, grocery store trips have become increasingly popular.
The website is designed to simplify quoting, booking and confirmation and provides an integrated payment system for their fleet of vehicles ranging from a Ford Expedition up to a full-sized motor coaches to accommodate any sized group.
One of the more innovative services supported by the website is Cabo Transfers’ new partner booking portal, allowing travel agents, wedding planners and hotel partners to easily book transfer services on behalf of their clients. As a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) this service fits tightly into the mission of shared knowledge and access to services between member organizations. The portal will be launched in the 2nd quarter of 2017.
“Our new website shows our commitment to our customers and partners as the safest and most trusted private hired car service serving Cabo San Lucas,” said Mark Diesvelt, the Online Systems Manager at Cabo Transfers, “14 Oranges has delivered an exceptional user website experience in line with this goal, helping us to service our stakeholders on the web or on the smartphone platform of their choice.”
14 Oranges is a leading provider of web and mobile services supporting on-demand services and the uberfication of everything. Supporting web and mobile solutions for the tourism, government and enterprise markets, our customers trust us with their most critical revenue generating and operations management systems.
About Cabo Transfers
At Cabo Transfers, we strive to provide the most elite transportation service in the Los Cabos area. It starts with our luxurious and comfortable vehicles. It continues with our high level of transportation service with our staff. Finally, our competitive rates will showcase why we are able to exceed our guest’s expectations. Cabo Transfers will keep you from worrying about your transportation needs any time you travel to beautiful, sunny Los Cabos. Cabo Transfers is a long standing member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) and the only transportation company in Los Cabos with NLA (National Limousine Association) accreditation.
Contact: Mark Diesvelt, mark(AT)cabotransfers.com
About 14 Oranges
14 Oranges, is a leading provider of turnkey web and mobile application services to support our customer’s key requirement for simple end user engagement and efficient operational management. Headquartered in Richmond, BC with offices in Ottawa and Halifax, 14 Oranges sells its services to governments, retail organizations and enterprises. 14 Oranges’ web and mobile application services brings a mobile-first design approach, enabling our customers’ end users to connect with their organization on-the-go, while they in turn manage their organization from their smartphone. Managers realize an immediate return on investment (ROI) from increased end user engagement and an increase in their organization’s productivity.
It used to be the American Express card was the only thing you never left home without. Now its your smartphone. In this weeks edition of Plugged In we review the travel apps you should simply not travel without.
Remember Brickbreaker on your BlackBerry? Well we have the latest rundown on mobile games; everything from games that work offline when you are on the plane, to online multi-player games and augmented reality. On this week’s edition of Plugged In we cover it all just in time for Christmas!
14 Oranges’ CEO Sylvain Marcotte explores the latest game console innovations and the dramatic shift that has taken place from hand held gaming platforms, such as the Nintendo DS, to Apple and Google smartphones. In this edition of Evolution 107.9’s Plugged In with Jared Thomas, Sylvain lays out the shift to 4K ready video game consoles, the appeal of retro gaming to millennial’s and how we are now able to play Super Mario anytime, anywhere.
Whether you just read our post on ending your relationship using technology, and you are now back on the market, or you are single and looking for that special someone for the holidays, we have your needs covered in this edition of Plugged In. I speak again with Mike Turcotte from Evolution 107.9 about the latest apps available for finding love. Not me mind you … I woo’d my fiancé using traditional analog techniques: dinner and dancing.
The Christmas holidays can be particularly tedious if you are in a relationship that is going nowhere. Buying gifts for your not-so-significant-anymore somebody before the holidays can be stressful chore. But there is hope … the Relationship Transfer Deadline. Coined by BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills it’s the last day before Christmas when you can safely let go of your significant other and open up your holiday schedule and bank account for your own commercial cravings, and technology can help you get it done! I sit down with Mike Turcotte from Evolution 107.9 and talk about the pro’s and con’s of tech breakups in this edition of Plugged In.
A while back we did a review of the IKEA Bekant Sit and Stand Desk. As you probably know, the IKEA Bekant desk in its standard configuration comes in a 63” width which in our case was too wide for our working cubicles. Too wide by 3” to be exact. When we purchased one we noticed the way it was was built, and figured out that it wouldn’t be too hard to reduce its size, albeit with a few hacks. In this post, we will discuss how we were able to hack the 63” Bekant desk using the IKEA catalog and build a 55” variation of the IKEA Sit and Stand desk which we have dubbed the Frankenstein. Scary sounding, but honestly, it was worth the effort!
1) Purchasing the parts at IKEA
Maybe the most difficult part of this whole process is actually purchasing the parts. It used to be that the parts for the Sit and Stand desk were all in the self-serve area of IKEA so getting them was easy-peasy, but it seems that IKEA keeps changing where they store those items. We figure they don’t like customers buying up inventory generally meant for one purpose and used for another, or maybe they are onto us! I always figured I was being tracked via my iTunes purchases of ABBA’s Greatest Hits …
The first time we did this (yes, we’ve done this a few times), the 55” table top was in self serve and the underframe was available at the pickup area (where you pay for the item first, and then someone brings them to you). That was easy. The second time, both items were in the pickup area so we had to visit a few different clerks and get two order sheets for the pickup area. Looking at their website today, it appears the underframe is now available in self serve but the tabletop is under pickup.
In any case, you need to be a bit clever in order to get what you need. The key is that you have to go twice to see a clerk and request just the item that you need, because (as mentioned previously) they might get wise to the inventory hack you are performing. I suggest you come up with a story that you bought a Bekant before and it got damaged and you just need that part. I mean, come on … didn’t we just beat the Swedes in the Olympics Hockey finals?! I think they owe us this one without getting suspicious.
Once you have the parts, the rest is straightforward as long as you own or can borrow a bench saw,a drill and the right bits for cutting metal (more on that to come).
2) Purchasing the parts at hardware store
Unfortunately because the 55” Bekant tabletop does not have the same hole patterns that are used on the 63” tabletop, we need to buy some screws and a few washers. You will need 12 size 10 – half inch screws.
Just to be clear. They are size 10 (the size of the screw head) and are half inch long. You will also need 12 half inch washers. Note I am not 100% sure of the size. They were in a bulk pile when I picked mine up. Look at the picture for an idea of the size. If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you can figure this out.
You can also use a few tie wraps. 5 to 10 will do. You can substitute other types of restraining straps like twist ties or rubber bands instead if you prefer.
3) Making the cuts
The way the underframe is built, it relies on two long bars that hold the two motors that allow the tabletop to move up and down. By simply shortening those bars, you are effectively reducing the size of the underframe. Everything else (more or less) works per normal.
To make the cuts, you don’t even need to measure anything (well note we are using 55” tabletop. Other sizes might require measurements). You just need to line up the two bars side by side and then slide one of them so that the outside hole lines up with the inside hole (see figure). You then draw a line on the piece you need to cut and you repeat the same exercise for the other end of the second bar.
Make sure you don’t cut the same bar twice because you would then be SOL with one long bar and one short bar. To make the cut, make sure you use a blade that’s designed to cut metal. And safety goggles! Google Glass doesn’t qualify here. Once you have done your cuts, you can use a file to remove any shards.
4) Drilling the holes
Once you have made your cut, you need to drill holes for the bolts. For each side, you will need to drill 2 holes. Those holes are meant for the bolts that hold the motor to the bars A small hole through and through both layers a tad bigger than the size of the thread part of the bolt but smaller than the head of the bold. And then a bigger one for only the top layer of the bar.
The position of the hole is simply done by matching the position of the other bar’s inside hole.
5) Attaching the table to the desk underframe
Once you have your adjusted bars, you can bolt them to the motors just like the regular IKEA instructions tell you to do. You can then bolt the end pieces to the each side of the bars/motor assembly. With the tabletop upside down on the ground, put the middle piece and lower the bars/motor assembly on the underside of the tabletop. Use a small drill bit to drill 16 lead holes (4 per each end sides and 4 for the middle piece). Use a washer and screw per hole to affix the underframe to the tabletop.
6) Putting it all together
You can now plug all the necessary wires and affix the up/down control to the table just like you would on the normal setup. Again follow the IKEA instructions. One of the drawbacks of this setup is that you can’t use the mesh netting provided with the desk to hide all the cables and the power adapter. I use a few tie wraps to affix the power adapter to middle of the middle bar. I use a few twist ties to neatly bundle the excess wires.
You are now ready to use your IKEA Frankenstein Sit and Stand desk and amaze all your friends.
Since the motors are pretty heavy and that the screws used to affix the underframe to the tabletop are pretty short (and can’t be much longer), be gentle when carrying the table as you don’t want the underframe to come off. It hasn’t happened to us yet but best to be safe and use your fingers to hold the end parts of the underframe when carrying the table.
Knock, knock! One-way drone delivery of packages under 5 pounds has the economic potential of becoming a very useful service for retailers and for the delivery/collection of medicines and medical samples. However, before our skies can be filled with drones, regulators will have to set standards for the management of these services. On this edition of Evolution’s 107.9’s Plugged-In, I spoke with Levi Sinclair about drone delivery, and what it holds in store for consumers in the near future.