The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is using a new app, Crowdmanager, to help students maintain distance while using social spaces on campus.
The customised app will be managed by School staff, and will use a traffic light system, with green telling students when cafés and other breakout spaces are safe to use, amber when discretion should be exercised and red when a room is at capacity.
The School’s app has been designed by the team behind Crowdless, which was launched in April to help people avoid crowds and stay safe when returning to shops and restaurants. The Crowdless app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times since launch.
Alex Barnes, co-founder and co-CEO of Crowdless, said: “I’m delighted to be working with Oxford Saïd.
“This is the first official use of our app in an educational setting. I hope it will give students greater peace of mind as they participate in social activities. The Saïd Business School team were excellent partners and we thoroughly enjoyed the process of designing a creative solution with them.”
The Crowdless app will be used at the School’s main building on Park End Street and in the Oxford Playhouse, which is being used by the School’s students in Michaelmas term.
Natasha Heaton, Change Programme Director at Oxford Saïd, said: “We are looking forward to rolling out the Crowdmanager app at our venues in Oxford, which will help our students to plan their movements around campus.
“We have more social areas than ever, to ensure ample opportunity for social distancing. The app means that during their breaks, students will quickly be able to find that crucial cup of coffee.
“Working with the team has been a pleasure, I’ve enjoyed the agile nature of the project and everybody’s engagement and drive to launch.”
Crowdless have also signed two further deals, one with authorities in Spain, where the app will be used to alert beach-goers in Majorca to crowd levels, and another with a UK-based satellite data company to help predict crowd density.
As well as being supported by the Oxford Foundry, the University of Oxford’s entrepreneurship centre, Crowdless received mentorship from the Creative Destruction Lab Recovery program at Oxford Saïd.