When it comes to creating technology for cities and citizens, open-sourced data and hackathons and great, but there’s nothing like a real weather emergency to get the creative juices flowing.
The recent spate of storm-related delays and shutdowns on the MBTA have sent local designers into a creative frenzy; the latest proposal to ease the daily commute for Bostonians is an app that can predict the chance for delays and train trouble on the way to work. Read MoreBridj over the PotomacBridj planning to expand its data-driven bus service to Washington, D.C.
This morning, Boston-based Bridj, a transportation startup that aims to bring better, user-informed bus services to metropolitan areas, announced that it plans to expand its operations to Washington, D.C., this spring.
Bridj initially started testing potential bus routes in Boston last June, and released its long-awaited mobile application in January. This most recent step is helping the company to get closer to its original vision of a data-driven transit service that meets the demands of citizens in neighborhoods lacking reliable public transportation. The service saw an influx in popularity in the wake of the recent snowstorms, particularly during some of the worst MBTA and traffic woes. Read More
What would you do if a couple feet of fresh snow fell... and right outside your office door was a small hill? Oh, and your CEO was an avid snowboarder? And your company made small drones with built-in cameras?
The answer at Danvers-based CyPhy Works was clear: institute snowboarding lunch breaks, filmed from the skies. The runs aren't very long, but CyPhy CEO Helen Greiner says the walk back up the hill is good exercise. While many of CyPhy's employees are mechanical engineers, Greiner says "they haven't built me a lift yet." (That's Greiner, who was previously a co-founder of iRobot Corp., going off a jump in the image above.)
Read MoreThe Download: Derek Roos of Mendix
With several weeks still left of winter, Boston commuters are bracing for more bad weather, and with that, the inevitable delays on the beleaguered T. A new Web app being billed as the "Waze for the T" aims to warn T riders of delays or service alerts by crowdsourcing updates along the lines in real time. Read More
Ready to go questing?
Brookline entrepreneur Chad Ellis is planning to open an indoor “questing” center this summer, importing a concept from Sweden called Boda Borg, which blends obstacle courses with puzzle-solving. Some of the quests are so challenging, says Ellis, that only one percent of visitors can complete them — and that’s usually after a few attempts.
Read MoreCambridge students study science with a CSI-inspired crime lab
A little after noon on Wednesday last week, two technicians from the Cambridge Police Department crime lab arrived at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, kits in tow.
But the famed center was not the scene of a crime. Rather, it was hosting a four-day vacation science camp for middle-schoolers, and the two crime-lab techs were participating in a session called “Get A Clue” to introduce 22 adolescents to scientific skills such as microscopy and dissections.
And to make the session all the more engaging for the kids, the Whitehead and its partner in the program, the educational group Science from Scientists, had cooked up a whodunit: the theft of a candy recipe they would solve using technical sleuthing taught by real-life CSI types. Read More