Our 5 (other) favorite mobile apps that use crowdsourcing to increase efficiency

waze snapshot

One of the most exciting trends in mobile technology is based off a pretty simple concept: when people use their smartphones to report stuff about their surrounding environment, everyone benefits.

In CrowdComfort’s case, facility managers access aggregated maintenance and productivity reports from building occupants to reduce wasted time, lower costs, and improve service levels.

We’re calling this concept the “Human Sensor Network”—and while we’re giving ourselves a pat on the back for coming up with such a futuristic sounding way to describe what our application does, we’re by no means the only ones who are leveraging the power of crowdsourcing to make things more efficient.

So, without further ado, we present to you our top 5 (other) favorite mobile apps that use the power of the Human Sensor Network to make people’s lives just a little bit easier:



Waze uses the phone’s GPS, signal and user input to gather real-time data about traffic jams, accidents and speed traps, all publicly accessible on a map. It’s the Human Sensor Network on wheels, and it’s a lot of fun to use. Just don’t get caught uploading data to Waze while driving!



Citizen’s Connect is the City of Boston’s award-winning effort to empower residents to be the City’s “eyes and ears.” The app gives residents an easy way to report neighborhood issues such as potholes, damaged signs and graffiti. It’s like CrowdComfort, but for the entire city of Boston.



Boasting that its platform has helped resolved over 1.3 million issues, SeeClickFix is like CitizensConnect, but is available for municipal governments throughout the country. Almost eight years old, it’s also one of the first Human Sensor Network platforms out there.



Stereopublic turns everyday people with smartphones into “earwitnesses:” whenever you find a particularly quiet, or noisy, place in a big city, report it using the app. The result? A crowdsourced “stereoscape” that shows quietest places to read, study, and hang out in a big city.



When you gotta go, you gotta go…preferably someplace clean. We can’t really tell if SitOrSquat is a joke or not, but frankly, we don’t care. Who wouldn’t want an app on their phone that displays user-generated reports about the location and cleanliness level of toilets throughout the country?

sitorsquar snapshot



So, there you have it: our 5 favorite apps displaying the awesome (and perhaps a bit comical) power of the Human Sensor Network. Got any favorites of your own? We’d love to hear from you.


And remember: if you want to see first-hand the power of the Human Sensor Network in buildings, sign up for a free CrowdComfort demo!


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