New app uses augmented reality to help people get around Northamptonshire

Augmented reality is more associated with Pokémon Go but the council is using the technology to help people make journeys more easily in Northamptonshire.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 5:02 pm
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 5:07 pm

The Smart Mover app shows users how to get from A to B using public transport with live information but can also show walking directions overlaid on the phone's display.

The idea is to encourage people to use alternative transport to cars, helping to reduce traffic congestion, pollution and support the local economy.

Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for highways and place Jason Smithers said: “This is a great example of how emerging technology can help with service delivery.

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The Smart Mover app is available to download now

"In this case: modal shift, which is a way of encouraging people to make journeys in a more sustainable way.

“Our roads are getting increasingly congested and using what is known as modal shift – encouraging people to use alternatives to cars – is one of the ways we can improve people’s journeys.

“This is about planning for the future – making sure that we control emissions in our towns and ensuring the transport network doesn’t throttle economic growth.”

Smart Mover will allow users to plan their journeys on public transport in the county with the ability to save their favourite trips and get 'next-stop' notifications.

The app is part of a wider Northamptonshire initiative, which uses technology to manage the road network more efficiently, provide live traffic and travel information, and enable new and better services.

The schemes are being funded through the Local Growth Fund with support from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP).

Minister for local growth, Jake Berry, said: “Supporting innovation is at the heart of this Government’s commitment to boosting economic growth across the country and ensuring every community has the support and investment it needs to flourish.

“This incredible new app, part of the Smart Move programme backed by £7 million from the Local Growth Fund, exemplifies our vision by taking the technology of the gaming industry and turning it into a must-have tool for everyday life which will make people’s daily journeys better and help the environment.”

Any smartphone can use Smart Move but some older devices will not be able to access the augmented reality function. It is available now to download from the usual app stores.