Infographic: The half-life of smart phones & apps

An cool infographic by Sarah Wenger 

As the world continues moving into a mobile one, smart phones have become an invaluable part of our lives – an extension of our own being. And because of our newly adopted part of our anatomy, Apps become increasingly more important as they are a more efficient and more precise way of accessing information on our phones. Mobile phone applications may seem like a small part of the changing landscape of the way we receive information, but in actuality, mobile applications may very well be the future. Because of this, many different professions from many different fields of study may want to take note of this. Most obviously, applications are important to software engineers and designers, but applications will also be important to those in marketing and business. Those fields of study should realize the growing market and figure out how to successfully capitalize on the growing trend of accessing information through applications. This infographic will show just how big apps got and how people are starting to use them.

Streetline Wants To Be Your Parking Savior

No more driving around for parking, wasting time, and spewing emissions. This app will make finding a spot a breeze (but it can’t help you parallel park) More Happy Apps from Co.Exist

The statistics on parking are beyond depressing: People spend an average of 18 to 20 minutes worldwide looking for parking and 30% of congestion is due to people looking for parking. And the parking meter? It hasn’t had any dramatic upgrades since it was introduced in 1935 (with the exception of digital readings and pay by credit card). All that congestion leads to aggravated drivers, businesses missing out on potential customers who drive away in frustration, and lots of air pollution.

Streetline, a startup that we last covered in 2010, wants to make it so that the next generation laughs when we tell them about the hours we spent on a weekly basis searching for parking. Now the company has a $25 million credit line from Citi to make its dreams come true.

When we first covered Streetline, the startup was in the middle of a pilot test of its Parker app in Los Angeles. The app leverages Streetline’s low-power wireless sensors (they’re embedded in parking spaces) to detect when vehicles are in parking spots. From there, Parker can tell you how many spots are available in a given neighborhood–and a lot more.


In addition to finding open parking spaces on the street (and offering information on pricing, hours, time limits, and whether the spots takes credit cards), Parker now offers real-time occupancy information for garages that have signed up with the service. And users can even reserve and pay for parking spots in advance through participating garages. “It’s like the Open Table of parking,” says Streetline CMO Kelly Schwager.

In the future, users will be able to pay parking meters with their phones–no more searching for coins. Also coming up: voice commands and filters for handicap spots and EV charging. Users can already see how much parking spaces cost in the app, setting the stage for cities to implement dynamic pricing. Eventually, Parker’s services will be integrated directly into in-car navigational systems.


Streetline’s mesh network in Los Angeles.


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Art + Botany: LeafSnap Field Guide Free App

For those of us who are not botanists and struggle to tell the difference between one tree and another, here’s and app for us – I,m not sure yet if it will help us much with our species here in South Africa, but the  idea is surely encouraging and a matter of time before this collaborative effort  reaches all corners of the globe: From Garden Design Magazine by  Anna Laurent 

PHOTO BY: LeafSnap

Fresh from the digital fields and humming with plant life, LeafSnap is a new mobile app that can identify a tree’s species by looking at a photograph of the leaf. It’s the first of app of its kind, and a field guide for the twenty-first century. Using facial recognition algorithms to analyze the leaf’s contour, LeafSnap then selects a match from its index of species. If it’s not entirely sure (let’s be fair—leaves of different species can look rather similar), it will bring up a list of possible identifications. You can then browse through the collection to determine which tree’s leaf you’re holding. To make this easy, LeafSnap has a botanic dossier on all of its trees, including all sorts of information about the tree’s habitat, growth, and critical specs (are the fruits poisonous or sweet?), as well as a collection of photographs that show the tree’s seeds, bark, flowers, and fruits. The tree’s entire life cycle is captured in a pocket-sized album, at very high resolution. Truly modern, the photographs can be magnified to examine the veins on a petal or the pollen on an anther. A wealth of information and a gorgeous gallery of botanic photography, the guide is also wonderful bedtime reading, when you’re not in the field.   Continue reading