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Content developers for Tech Totem - open call for collaborators

Future Cities Catapult is seeking a content partner for our Technology Totems.


With the proliferation of digital street furniture and increasing demand for “smart” infrastructure, cities need to ensure they make best use of their space now and in the future. They also need to optimise services and revenue share from providers – but how?

Developing new technology and products, and demonstrating the value of interventions in cities, is always more successful when deployment and testing in a real city environment is made possible.

And it is precisely to encourage this kind of experimentation, and to reduce barriers to deployment, that Future Cities Catapult has developed ”Technology Totems” as a new physical city experimentation platform.

Tech Totems are an open and flexible technology platform that cities can use to deploy digital infrastructure test models and to engage with citizens. Future Cities Catapult has already built a number of prototypes exploring how digital street furniture might address a range of city and market challenges, and we are now looking to test these prototypes in new environments.

Future Projects

Future Cities Catapult is seeking a long term technology partner capable of building software content for the Tech Totems. Hardware integration will also play a role, so that elements such as buttons and lights work in conjunction with the screen and other devices.

Current content development areas include:

  • Engaging content to encourage citizen interaction, such as public consultation and engagement via interactive questionnaires
  • Wayfinding, map integration and local info (events, places of interest etc.)
  • Triggered events, such as LED lighting or sound playback and voice recording

What we need from our content partner

Future Cities Catapult has in-house skill-sets that include visual design and user research. We’re looking for a partner who can augment these with the following expertise:

Data and software architecture:

  • Designing and consuming public and private APIs from different schemas and protocols
  • Designing and implementing data analytic tasks to create location based insights (such as recommendations, A/B tests etc)
  • Designing bespoke frontend content that moves beyond off-the-shelf solutions

 Software development:

  • Designing front-end that leverages user interactions beyond point and click solutions
  • Adopting designer wireframes and translating them to functional frontend applications
  • Capabilities in immerse data visualisation libraries (such as D3, 3js etc.) with special focus on maps (leaflet, mapbox etc.)
  • Developing scalable back-end solutions that can handle data from diverse sources (eg. IoT sensor data, user interaction data etc.)
  • Deploying full-stack solutions both in the cloud and locally as needed
  • Building admin dashboards that allow totem admins to alter content and monitor the health of the system

Hardware integration:

  • Integrating IoT sensors, devices such as raspberryPis, arduinos etc. with software applications
  • Electrical engineering tasks to facilitate the use of hardware equipment available in the totem in conjunction with the software application requirements

Systems integration and testing:

  • Providing production ready products (unit tests, continuous integration frameworks etc.)

Registering Your Interest

Future Cities Catapult want to partner with organisations with the capabilities outlined above and who are interested in working on projects in partnership with us. We are undertaking a formal process of selection for interested organisations.  All organisations interested in working with us should register their interest by emailing Nathan Whittaker at nwhittaker@futurecities.catapult.org.uk with the following:

  • Two examples of recent work which demonstrates you ability to deliver the services required on this project, including a clear and concise explanation of the work carried out, as well as a summary of the project’s outcome and achievements (maximum 1 page per example)

All registrations of interest must be submitted by email by Monday 25 March 2019.  The submissions will be reviewed by Future Cities Catapult based on experience, capability and suitability and you will receive a response no later than 1 April 2019.

Any queries about this call for collaborators should be addressed to gstevens@futurecities.catapult.org.uk

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