Last year, Spatial Networks released Fulcrum Community, which provides the ability to crowdsource mobile data collection across any geographical area. Data collected by the crowd or organization is then made open and available for anyone to view or download. It has been used in damage assessments for tornados, wildfires, hurricanes, and earthquakes, as well as for environmental protection.
The goal of Fulcrum Community is to put the power of Fulcrum in the hands of the public to increase the transparency and openness of the often-closed data collection efforts that take place today. While we provide Fulcrum Community for the open-community driven project, I’d like to share a handful of other cool mobile apps and platforms that have a similar crowdsourced, community-driven purpose.
Nexar is a mobile app that works as a crowdsourced dashcam. While using their Nexar app or wifi-enabled dashcam, you are connected to their Nexar vehicle-to-vehicle network — so the more users that are near, the safer we all become. Nexar makes travel safer and smarter because vehicles communicate proximity warnings to alert drivers of dangers beyond their field of view. The app studies the road and alerts the driver to impending dangers. It records every drive, syncs to the cloud when near wifi, and then deletes the video on the device to save space. If you are ever in an accident, Nexar produces a detailed, printable report of the incident, so you can accurately provide your side of the story with crash recreation. [Get the app]
Comma.ai is an effort by George Hotz (the one who first hacked the iPhone and PlayStation 3 as a teenager). With the goal of bringing self-driving capability to vehicles already on the road, Comma.ai released a toolkit for car owners. Comma.ai is selling a piece of hardware that, when coupled with its new Cabana software, will help owners see everything the sensors in their cars are doing. The hardware component, called Panda, is a dongle that plugs into the OBDII port located on all cars. You can order the $99 universal car interface, which provides USB and wifi that can be used to connect to computers or smartphones. Panda plus Cabana is like Fitbit for your car. Track your RPMs, MPG, cornering G-force, battery life, and so much more. The Chffr app helps train self driving cars, as the future of autonomous cars depends on skilled drivers to teach them. If you have a newer model Honda, Acura or Toyota with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Comma.ai will provide autopilot for your car. It’s about on par with Tesla Autopilot at launch, and according to Comma.ai better than all other manufacturers. [Get the app]
Pavemint connects people looking for a parking space with people who have parking spaces to share, so you can find a spot when you need one and earn money when you don’t. Think of Pavemint as Uber for parking spots. It’s a peer-to-peer parking community that connects people looking for parking with people who have parking space to share. If you live in a high-density area or near a popular event location, you can reserve a spot on Pavemint or rent out your driveway during events and start earning extra cash. [Get the app]
There are several Bluetooth trackers on the market that help you to locate your keys, wallet, purse, or anything else you attach them to — such as Trackr, Tile, Chipolo, and AIKO. All of them do the same thing: allow you track your devices when you are within bluetooth range. If you are out of bluetooth range, you can notify the crowd of your lost device and the community of users can alert you when your device is in range of theirs. All of these are small enough to fit most anywhere and light enough not to notice. Having owned both Tiles and Trackr for more than a year, I’m recommending AIKO 5th Gen because it offers the ability to recharge your device once a month using a micro USB. The other options on the market essentially make you buy a new device or battery every year. [Buy]
This crowdsourced consumer device is a smart video doorbell. It was first introduced on the ABC show Shark Tank in 2013. It does more than other smart home-camera systems are doing: it connects you to your neighbors’ camera footage. Once you have a Ring doorbell and sign up for their free community service, the mobile app will update you with real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighborhood. Keep connected and stay informed with up-to-date news from your neighbors, your community, and local law enforcement, so you can all work together to create a safer neighborhood. As a matter of fact, Ring partnered with LAPD in 2016 and installed Ring Video Doorbells on 10 percent of homes in Wilshire Park, CA. The LAPD’s data showed a 55 percent decrease in break-ins within the first six months of the doorbells being installed. For a price tag of $199, it’s money well spent to keep you and your neighbors safer. [Buy]
Are you using a helpful crowdsourcing app? I’d love to hear about it — email me at cory at fulcrumapp dot com!