Proximity Technologies in Smart Cities

DVmobile has just been featured in Proximity.Director's Q4 2016 report.

DVmobile's Smart Survey technology leverages automatic GPS data collection to improve information for city planners and transportation organizations: 

  • Gathers data from citizens to give city planner better data
  • Location service turn on & off automatically depending on sensed device movement
  • Survey questions logic is data-driven; any set of questions can be easily implemented and irrelevant once skipped

Download the report to learn more!


Lauren Kenney

Digital Alchemist at DVmobile, hot salsa lover, and automation expert.

UX Best Practices: Home Automation Ecosystem Design

Abstract: One of the newest and strongest trends of Internet of Things is Home Automation. New technologies will bring new ways to interact -- and new UX challenges.


Imagine the lights outside your home turn on automatically at 6:00pm. Or being able to start your car minutes before you even get in during a cold morning. The future will be amazing!

Wait, what?

That has been around for years! You may think of these examples are not what we nowadays refer to as Home Automation. Where are the smartphones? The lights that change intensity with the day? The thermostat that turns off when it notices I leave? Programmable lights and remote controllers are indeed one of the earliest examples of Home Automation; what is new goes beyond hardware and software: it's the possibility of creating an ecosystem.

An ecosystem means its components or members are interconnected in a complex network of relations. They all share and compete for resources and information, and they depend on each other. They form a hierarchy and a chain. Like natural ecosystems, each member plays a role in the big picture. Programmable lights and remote controllers are not part of an ecosystem because they do not interact with each other or with anything else. Your garage door, as automatic and remote-controlled as it may be today, doesn't know that if you turn on your car in the morning, it should open.

The revolution we are experiencing right now is that appliances and devices in our homes that were once isolated, blind, deaf and mute, are suddenly able to talk to each other and share what they do and know. We are closer than ever to a Jetson-like life. This revolution of an ecosystem of smart devices that interact for our benefit is called Internet of Things.

IoT - Internet of Things
When we dreamed of a life like the Jetsons, we thought of having flying cars, housekeeping robots, instant meals, etc. However, we never thought about the intangible system that supports and sustain their lifestyle. As mentioned before, the true power of IoT, and what makes it a revolution is not in the hardware but what cannot be seen: the ecosystem. If we could see electromagnetic waves such as WiFi, bluetooth, radio, and others, I assure you we would pay less attention to the physical objects - our home, workplace, car, and streets would look as if they were covered by thick spiderwebs of rapidly moving and changing waves. I think it would be overwhelming, so I'm glad we can't see them.

WiFi, cellular, bluetooth, infrared, radio, and other waves are constantly weaving relationships between our smart devices.

WiFi, cellular, bluetooth, infrared, radio, and other waves are constantly weaving relationships between our smart devices.

The other invisible power of IoT is much less obvious: User Experience. If you are reading this, you might be part of a team that is building software solutions. You will have an impact on the outcome of a product or service that will attempt to improve people's lives. In the case of IoT, you will have to play a god-like role where you will have to design not just the "creature" (the device) and its brain (the software), but the entire ecosystem and how will it best serve an even greater god than you: the user.

The challenge of UX design in IoT is that we are not in control anymore.

We no longer design a closed, simple system where only our creature lives and everything is perfect. We now have to account for hundreds or thousands of other creatures, living, thriving, collaborating and competing for the user-god's attention. Excellent UX design will ultimately mark the difference between those that survive and those that go extinct, regardless of their cutting-edge technology or their cool-looking hardware.


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Danny Sanchez

UI/UX Designer at DVmobile, Men-at-Work fan, and 3D printing guru.

Voice Integration Services: Talking to Technology

Along with drones and VR, one of the areas of Tech that has gained remarkable attention recently is Internet of Things (IoT), and voice has positioned itself as the interface of choice for this new wave of smart devices.

Although not new, the ability to use our voice and natural language as an interface has peaked thanks to new technologies. More than ever, we can control and interact with our world through our voice. In just the last few years, we've been able to ask questions, dictate a text, or schedule reminders through our phones and cars. The big players of the Industry seem to hint that this trend will not slow down, as Apple has included Siri in Mac OS Sierra and Amazon released Alexa. 

At DVmobile, we are currently developing apps that integrate Voice Services. We are excited about the challenges and opportunities that this new level of interaction means.

Where do you see the opportunity for Voice Integration Services in your business?

OMM "Must-have" Meditation App

One-Moment Meditation has been included in KnowStartups list of "must-have" mindfulness and meditation apps!

The New Year is the perfect time to start a new habit, and One-Moment Meditation makes it easy to be successful in your resolve. One-Moment Meditation allows you to find a state of deep calm and renew your energy — no matter how busy you are.

Meditation provides the ideal way to reconnect with yourself by virtue of learning how to breathe and relax. Not only may it make you feel more secure, confident and relaxed, but regular meditation may also lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health.

- Forbes, "Top 10 Health-Related New Year's Resolutions,"  Dec. 31, 2016

One-Moment Meditation is available through the App Store & Google Play:

Highlight Reel 2016

To celebrate a great year, we're highlighting some of our best content from 2016. Read, enjoy, and let us know what you think!

Where Mobile meets the Cloud

We are Digital Transformation Architects - partnering with our clients to solve business challenges with cutting-edge software solutions that improve quality of life.

Smart Surveys integrate GPS and Mobile technologies to create an enhanced data collection platform. Learn more about how they work and how we've implemented them for the City of Boulder:

Our Methodologies

To truly LEVEL UP, organizations need to embrace systematic IT modernization. See how we create cultures of success, built on Lean/Agile/DevOps and Continuous Delivery:

Great UI/UX is the foundation of DVmobile software solutions. Read about Design Thinking as it relates to exceptional development and end-user experiences, or watch our designer Danny Sanchez's presentation at Denver Startup Week this year:

Client Stories

Finally, check out a few additional client success stories we've shared over the past year: 


Need help with a project? Get in touch and we'll discuss how DVmobile can help your organization LEVEL UP


Shawn Davison

CEO at DVmobile, triathlete, and technological philosopher.

BIT: Dining in the Dark

DVmobile is honored to be a Gold-level sponsor at this year's Blind Institute of Technology Dining in the Dark event!

Join us for dinner, cocktails, dancing, and a silent auction :

Saturday, January 28, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Denver Marriott West
1717 Denver West Drive, Golden, Colorado

Tickets $150 per person
Purchase here before they sell out!

The Blind Institute of Technology partners with the visually impaired and employers to break down barriers and create opportunities through education and training programs. 2017 Dining in the Dark will be the second annual gala event; proceeds benefit the BIT. Guests will have the chance to meet BIT Founder, Mike Hess, and to experience first-hand some of the challenges of visual impairment by actually sharing part of the dining experience in the dark.

Be our guest! 

Want to attend the event as a guest of DVmobile? Share the event details on LinkedIn to enter for an opportunity to win 2 free tickets ($300 value)!


Shawn Davison

CEO at DVmobile, triathlete, and technological philosopher.

What is the Smart Survey way?

Smart Surveys provide huge advantages over paper surveys:

  • Ask questions in the moment, during the Trip day
  • Use a built-in clock to know when things happened without requesting input from the respondent
  • Use GPS to know where respondents are without asking
  • Auto-detect a complete Trip using logic
  • Ask interactive questions and include help information and instructions
  • Dynamically control the tracking period for a given user
  • Deliver dynamic backend status/progress
  • Increase the audience size with little expense (quicker convergence on sufficient valid data for each target demographic)
  • Enable respondents to complete 100% of tasks (including all Trip tracking, notifications, etc.) WITHOUT an Internet connection

Because of the vast quantity of data generated by mobile technologies and the ability to parse and report in various complex ways, transportation surveys with a 'smart' platform have the potential to become a black-hole of time and resources - unique in many ways from other software programs - and therefore require laser focus to establish clear project requirements and boundaries.

DVmobile's process of generating Smart Surveys has concrete logic to optimize the end-product and eliminate scope-creep:

1) Establish what Cities & Planners need

  • Statistically relevant data 
  • Parity of statistics taken in the past (e.g. capturing 24 hrs of data)
  • A smart phone app that cuts down the costs of collection and coding

2) Establish which GPS/Activity features to track

  • Know where respondents are when first running the app
  • Determine the start/end of a Trip (date/time and location)
  • Have a rough idea of the route to their destination (speed, heading, location points with time, activity points)

3) Establish what to ask users for a given 'Trip'

  • Purpose of Trip
  • Sub-purpose of Trips (e.g. reason for stops on the way to work)
  • Modes of transportation (direct input or validation of automatic detection)
  • Mode-specific information (e.g. bus line taken)
  • Vehicle occupancy
  • Feedback to ensure accuracy of detected Trip

4) Establish what to ask users as survey question-sets

  • Demographic information
  • Commute-specific information or other Trip information scoped more than a 24 hr period
  • Feedback regarding experience with the app and accuracy of overall Trip detection
  • Automation validation

5) Establish how to engage users to complete all the questions with accuracy

  • "In the moment" Trip annotation while details are fresh in their minds reduces the number of questions asked later
  • Notifications providing instructions or friendly reminders to complete a Trip or answer survey questions
  • Quick-and-engaging, conversational form interface that feels like texting a few responses
  • Intuitive user interface that clearly communicates Trip and survey status

James Shelby

CTO, multiple patent holder, & flip-phone collector

Watch the Video: "Visionary Leadership through Design Thinking"

Denver Startup Week Presentation Available Now!

 

As a Mexican Industrial Designer working in the tech industry in Denver, Danny Sanchez is an advocate of the versatility of design thinking and passionate about teaching design principles to non-designers that they can apply in their own different contexts. The goal of this talk is to create awareness of the benefits of incorporating design thinking as a core business element.

From this presentation, you’ll learn why the first User Experience designer of your team must be you – the entrepreneur – to set the foundation for an organization that faces today’s business challenges with creativity and empathy.  Danny introduces key design concepts, demonstrates business applications, and provides resources for further learning.

DVmobile's UX/UI designer, Danny Sanchez, presented "Visionary Leadership through Design Thinking" at Denver Startup Week on September 15, 2016. Denver Startup Week (DSW) is the largest event of its kind in North America. Denver Startup Week is the summit of entrepreneurial energy, innovation, and connection. Powered by the local community, sessions represent the very best in tech, design, DIY-making, marketing, and leadership: www.denverstartupweek.org

Lauren Kenney

Digital Alchemist at DVmobile, hot salsa lover, and automation expert.

PREVIEW: Denver Startup Week "Visionary Leadership through Design Thinking"

Commonly, entrepreneurs fall into the misconception that creativity and empathy are something the UX designer should worry about, not them. Despite this, it is entrepreneurs who are the creators of products, teams, brands, and strategies, usually without any training in creativity or applying design thinking.

Many think of “design” as UI and graphics, but that is the DOING of the design rather than the THINKING, which includes UX. It is dangerous to believe that only designers are responsible for design, or to believe that a business does not need design. As CEO, it is important to be the first example and lead with design thinking.

As a Mexican Industrial Designer working in the tech industry in Denver, I am an advocate of the versatility of design thinking and passionate about teaching design principles to non-designers that they can apply in their own different contexts. I want to create awareness of the benefits of incorporating design thinking as a core business element, as I’ve seen its results from my experience in design practice and creativity consulting.

In this upcoming Denver Startup Week session, we will employ principles from 17th century Miyamoto Musashi – swordsman, strategist, and philosopher – to learn pragmatic design thinking best practices that can be applied in your business. You’ll learn why the first User Experience designer of your team must be you – the entrepreneur – to set the foundation for an organization that faces today’s business challenges with creativity and empathy. I will introduce key design concepts, demonstrate business applications, and provide resources for further learning.

If you’re interested in participating, you can register here.


Danny Sanchez

UI/UX Designer at DVmobile, Men-at-Work fan, and 3D printing guru.

Harvard Business Review: the Case for Continuous Digital Innovation & Improvement

“The ability to continuously enhance and overhaul online products is already separating the winners and losers among internet firms. Increasingly, it will affect the fortunes of every firm that must have successful online offerings.”

HBR’s recent article from Brad Power is a compelling case for the imperative for digital and non-digital companies to adopt the LEAN DevOps culture already embraced by the DVmobile team.

Power points out that companies who originated in the digital age - “digital natives” - face similar challenges to those trying to adapt their traditional business models to the digital environment. Both segments alike face competition from newcomers who are able to leapfrog existing companies by leveraging newer technologies or sharper User Experience features, such as a more intuitive mobile User Interface.

The solution? Continuous innovation.

  • OWNERS OF TESLA CARS CAN GO ONLINE TO UPGRADE THEIR CAR'S PERFORMANCE.
  • GOOGLE RUNS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF TESTS EACH DAY ON UPDATES TO ITS ONLINE PRODUCTS.
  • ETSY CHANGES ITS WEBSITE MORE THAN 25 TIMES A DAY.

Continuous innovation begins with small teams, working to deliver discrete product functions. Product managers work closely with technical teams to monitor KPIs and deliver real-time user feedback, so that iterative improvements can be delivered rapidly. Automated testing improves efficiency, and limited release of new features to a select group of users enables the execution of Lean experiments while minimizing overall risks, as errors can be quickly rolled back without significant impact on the user experience. IoT technologies are key to this improved end-user experience, as updates can be pushed to connected devices from the Cloud.

Benefits of continuous innovation are rapidly accelerated speed-to-market of products and product updates, reduced costs and risks, and greatly enhanced customer relationships as products are constantly improved.

Want to learn more? Download the whitepaper to see how DVmobile leverages DevOps to provide Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery to help our clients do more, faster, better.


Lauren Kenney

Digital Alchemist at DVmobile, hot salsa lover, and automation expert.