Post covid the word has changed; visitors no longer want to get too close to strangers or touch things others have touched.
We still wish to explore the world, every person, every building , every village, town, city, every road railway, river, stream, canal, every work of art museum collection, Garden or space be it inside or out has a story to tell.
Now & Then want to release those stories, they contain social history, they connect us to our environment and others both in the past and the present.
Now & Then what problem it solves
Now & Then Ltd will transform the tourism industry, Guided tours have remained unchanged for over 50 years & new innovations have failed to scale. Delivery machinery wears out, is costly to repair & replace or requires constant charging. New solutions require a visitor to download a new app for every venue and create QR code queues. Now & Then provide simple to use tools that enable the creation of new content & the migration of existing and archived content. This content can trigger on location or remotely, it can replace the need for expensive, costly to maintain existing delivery methods, saving the environment and funds. Content is delivered to any smartphone on the Now & Then App. The App delivers any venues own branded content “Powered by Now & Then” one app, a world of stories and delivered to any environment inside or out.
Innovation – How does this disrupt or deviate from the status Quo?
Unlike the competition Now & Then’s Software is designed from outset to be inclusive. It works for the normally enabled, Blind, partially sighted, Deaf, reading impaired & signposts suitability for the disabled. Unlike the competition Now & Then is one app designed to enable all venues. The tools to create guides are free to use and publish. Now & Then only gets paid when a venue gets paid and the cost is minimal. Once a venues customer has obtained the Now & Then App, their customer will have access to the venues content/Guide on the customers own phone. If a potential customer already has the Now & Then App on their mobile phone they will discover content as they move through the world. Venues will be discovered on location. Remote visits become possible. Village/Town/city guides become possible, guided walks and trails will spring up everywhere and the user chooses to engage with what they wish to. Unlike the competition once the end user has Now & Then on their phone they will no longer need to download other tourism/Guide Apps. Now & Then will empower venues to create inclusive guides to everywhere – a guide to the earth.
Impact – What specific sustainability or CSR issues does this address & how?
No expensive on site machinery is required. Venues start saving the planet millions of pounds worth of assets on carbon production not to mention the reduced energy costs as existing machines are phased out worldwide. Global travel and the resulting pollution will be reduced Now & Then can enable Tourism by allowing guides to be viewed remotely as well as on location, making Virtual/Mixed Reality & Augmented reality tours become available when technology and local infrastructure make it possible. A no touch solution that saves the planets resources, venues money and is functions for all including the normally enabled, Blind, partially sighted, Deaf, reading impaired & signposts suitability for the disabled.
APPLICATIONS – Can it be easily adopted by the potential customer base? How scalable is the solution?
Now & Then’s tools are free to access, easy to use, a tour can be built by a beginner with no technical of computer knowledge very quickly (within an hour). The resulting guided tour can then be published and available on the Now & Then App within minutes. Guides inside buildings require the use of low energy Bluetooth beacons which are easily assignable and cheap. The application will scale organically as venues connect. We have already made sufficient UK connections to ensure that when we launch there will be content all over the UK. This should ensure our targeted venues will engage when offered free discovery. Once this has started to happen connections already made in Europe and the rest of the world will be utilised to scale rapidly.
RESULTS – what evidence or data can you provide to illustrate the above?
Quantative and qualitative research has been carried out with regard to tourism, the office of national statistics dataset was downloaded and utilised to look at what information was available in the tourism sector. Many tourism venues have been visited and questioned in order to find out their pain points and views, these resulted in several iterations/solutions. Google and apple stores have been looked at in order to ascertain what the competition is doing. The end users (tourists) were consulted to find what their pain points were. We have collated this information arrived at our current iteration and have tested it for over a year with the assistance of several grants/venues and end users. The commercial iteration is ready to be commissioned based on the results of this testing.
We are increasing public engagement with heritage, history, and the arts in indoor and outdoor green spaces and heritage sites while revealing nearby local history.
Reducing costs for existing heritage, history, the arts and storied sites. This is by utilising visitors’ own phones, instead of relying on existing exhibition hardware and audio devices that continually require maintenance, charging and replacement at very large costs.
Creating a social platform where people can interact around their own areas of interest. Making it possible for people to research and save content of historical interest to them so it can be shared with others. Making history come to life.
I founded Now & Then in my 59th year (2020). We are still testing, Passionate about inclusivity. The Now & Then app will when launched will work for the Blind, the visually impaired, those with literacy difficulties, the deaf it will enable discovery of accessible places for the mobility impaired and those in wheelchairs and the “Normally enabled”
I am by nature a problem solver, with very wide ranging skills. Having worked in the financial sector self employed for more than 10 years, dealing with individuals, start ups and both small and large company clients. Able to analyse information thoroughly, effectively and present it in a manner easy to understand.
All roles involved a high degree of communication, report writing , planning, financial understanding and an extensive use of computers, databases, back office systems, more importantly the trust placed in my ability and integrity.