Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

Health and mobility information- health care, transport, food options, recreation- via any convenient user interface- SMS, Web, voice, chat.

The Signalpattern™ platform makes it easy to discover, use and share Internet-based health and mobility information via any user interface.

Photo of Peter Semmelhack
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Our idea 

Improve access to health and mobility related information, and create immediate benefit, by eliminating the friction and anxiety often associated with learning new technologies.  Allow residents to access relevant information and functions using whatever application or interface they prefer.

How it benefits the Opportunity Area - Improve access to mobility information: 

Residents gain secure access to a wealth of useful health and mobility related information with little to no change to existing technology usage behaviors or expenditures.  This dramatically increases the chance of adoption, usage and project success.

Solution Overview

Signalpattern™ is a cloud-based, multi-modal UI platform that enables anyone to interact with internet-based information via whatever user interface type they find most useful or convenient.  This approach helps municipalities avoid costly custom application and/or service development, support and maintenance.

For example, Signalpattern would allow an East Austin resident to use SMS (texting) to join a community-based group chat or schedule a rideshare.

Or - Mary could use a mobile browser to query a health-related database while John uses Facebook messenger to query the same information.

Or - Walter, a blind man, could use Amazon Alexa to set up a grocery delivery.

Signalpattern ensures that the health and mobility information needed by a user is available whenever and wherever it is required.

Solution Details

Signalpattern connects directly to internet-based data sources (via APIs) and organizes the information into searchable, combinable, interactive digital building blocks, called “patterns”, that can be accessed via any popular user interface type.  Users can easily share useful patterns, driving distribution and consumption.  

Importantly, Signalpattern is a platform designed to enable anyone, not just developers, to build, modify and use their own custom mini-solutions.  Patterns are built in LEGO-like fashion, which makes its usage intuitive and fun.  This will allow residents and communities to tailor existing solutions to meet specific needs and/or create new ones to address any issue, large or small.  This key Signalpattern advantage helps empower grassroots problem-solving and resource sharing.

The benefits to residents, non-residents and visitors:

  1. Easy-to-learn access to relevant, previously unavailable/inaccessible health and mobility information
  2. No additional costs
    • 96% of US residents already have a cellphone of some kind
    • All US carrier wireless plans include SMS messaging (no data plan is required for SMS)
  3. Instant availability 
    • Nothing to download
    • Service is natively supported across all hardware types - feature phone to smartphone to audio devices (e.g. Alexa).
  4. Easy customization
    • Patterns can be easily individualized for specific use cases\
    • New versions can be quickly shared amongst communities

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

The easy, cost-free availability of health and mobility-related information will enable residents to access health services more frequently/conveniently, travel more confidently, take advantage of delivery options and schedule their daily lives more efficiently. Providing this information via whatever interface users prefer, creates the added benefits of convenience and immediacy. The solution supports all types of users and naturally accommodates: - Multiple language options - Accessibility requirements - hands-free, type size/color, etc.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Signalpattern was beta-launched in September. We have not yet had the opportunity to conduct a large scale pilot covering the ideas we propose here. However, based on our substantial experience with smart city user interface design, adoption and usage, we feel confident our approach will find an eager audience. In addition, we believe our work in community building and the insights it has provided, positions us well to understand the Austin environment, its residents and their respective needs.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are a small, NYC-based software company obsessed with making it easier for everyone to benefit from technology. The team that will be assigned to this project has successfully worked together on projects of all sizes for over ten years - and Ford specific projects (e.g. OpenXC) for over five. In addition, we have worked on many smart city-focused projects, from air-quality monitoring bike systems, to AI-based parking optimization and management. We would be excited and honored to participate.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

The budget will cover the following activities: 1 - Hosting, maintenance and support costs for dedicated Signalpattern instance, 2 - Development of necessary data source API connectors, 3 - Development of required patterns (workflows), 4 - In-person project support - in-field testing, community activity support, 5 - Project documentation - signage, end user docs. To the extent it helps, Bug Labs has a fully executed MSA with Ford.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We will dedicate internal resources to work closely with Ford and local community members to solicit volunteers (individuals and groups) to help us better understand neighborhood priorities and determine what mobility information is most critical/helpful. We will then take the following steps to set up the proposed pilot: 1 - Set up a secure, private instance of the Signalpattern platform on Amazon AWS, 2 - Develop the data connectors to the relevant internet based sources (APIs), 3 - Develop the patterns necessary to support documented end-user workflows, 4 - Test and launch, 5 - Provide on-going support. Once launched, we will develop a messaging/promotional plan to begin educating residents on the project and how to participate. We will dedicate on-going technical resources to support end-user Q&A for the duration of the pilot.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We will use both quantitative and qualitative measurements to gauge the success of the pilot: 1 - We will collect and analyze Signalpattern usage and engagement metrics: -- Signups. -- Repeat visits, -- Engagement - time using the solution - individual and aggregate, -- Number of patterns accessed, created, cloned, modified, -- API traffic volume 2 - We will conduct detailed user interviews, across all classes of user - resident, worker, visitor: -- First impressions, -- Likes/dislikes, -- Suggestions, feedback, -- Would they recommend. Ultimately, project success will be determined by a simple question - can East Austin area users live without the solution once they’ve started using.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Technical-- Signalpattern is capable of scaling, seamlessly and securely, from pilot to production, with little to no change in the end-user solution(s). Commercial-- We believe that the services enabled by the Signalpattern platform could support both free and premium versions. For example, SMS-based interactions could include services like ticket sales, promotional purchases, donations, special alerts/notifications - all potential revenue generating options.

Social Media

Twitter - @signalpattern -


Join the conversation:

Photo of Franklin Brown

Hi Peter,
My team and I would like to extend an open invitation to collaborate with you in the Ford 2019 City:One Challenge. Our Austin Green Health Zones project was designed to be an inclusive plan, and if we become the finalist in the competition, we would like to consider using your work as one of our included partnerships. Please take a moment to read our proposal and explore the various ways in which we maybe able to work together. We've already had a chance to look over your project and we think it would be a perfect fit to include in our plan, as our project was thought through and written to allow room for additional innovative projects just like yours. We're more than certain that you'll agree that it's a win-win situation for you and your team. Please feel free to contact us at anytime. We look forward to exchanging ideas and conversing with you soon. Thank you in advance for your time and best of luck in the challenge!

-Franklin Brown | Urban UAV Systems & Consulting, Inc.

Photo of Peter Semmelhack

Hi Franklin,
Thanks for reaching out. We're always happy to collaborate. I'll sit with my team and review your proposal today and explore how we could potentially add value. I will circle back with you on Monday. Thanks again for the invitation and good luck to you as well!

Photo of Franklin Brown

Thank you for reaching out to us as well.
Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns that you and your team may have at We look forward to conversing with you soon. Thanks again!