Imagine having a personal concierge at your fingertips through your Smartphone or tablet that – at the touch of a button – would help you locate a hotel based on its proximity to your favorite type of restaurant or a local salon by how many blowouts they do on a daily basis. You would even be able to – when traveling – find local parks and discover if they had tennis or basketball courts or even how large their green spaces were. Well the future is here and this will all be possible when visiting or living in Miami Beach as the City continues the development of a next-generation interactive application programming interface (API) platform that serves up this information to millions of people around the world.
Miami Beach is the first destination in the country to invest at this level in an API to foster development of Miami Beach-based mobile apps and other future technologies. The API allows app developers to take advantage of, and mine, existing (and real-time)Miami Beach data to create applications that focus on shopping, dining, arts, entertainment, nightlife, sports, music, transportation and other areas.
“It’s no coincidence that Miami Beach is the first city in the country to invest in a content management system of this kind. We may be a City by the beach but Miami Beach is more than fun in the sun,” says Jeff Lehman, Chair, MBVCA. “We take technology seriously and our investment in the sector is designed to take our destination to the next level and provide real-time information residents and visitors can use to have the best experience in our City.”
The City hopes that being on the forefront of technology will lure tech events and conventions to Miami Beach like the recent Hackathon at the University of Miami that drew dozens of app designers and developers who mined the data currently on the API to design apps that will serve residents and visitors.
“Miami Beach is 100 steps ahead of other cities around the world in providing technological transparency like this for businesses, public spaces, and transportation hubs,” says Shawn Moore whose company Solodev is working with the MBVCA to develop the API.
The API platform will support third-party mobile application development for iOS (Apple), Android and Blackberry devices by allowing programmers access to data directly from Miami Beach. The resulting apps will increase tourism by making it easier to find information and plan trips to the City based on very specific, detailed wishes, desires and requests while also learning about new and exciting locations and special offers. Complete development and installation of the API platform is expected later this fall.
The API adds to the City’s other tech developments over the last year: For residents, the City’s smart phone app, Report It, allows them to report real-time neighborhood concerns such as graffiti, trash and potholes to the appropriate government department in a snap; ask a question, make a request/complaint or find answers with just a click. The reports can include a photo and GPS location that will automatically integrate with the City’s systematized and prioritized customer support center. The app is available and free on iPhone, Blackberry, Windows and Android smart phones.
Wireless Miami Beach provides free public access Wi-Fi to all residents, visitors, and businesses across the city while also supporting public safety by providing Wi-Fi to laptops in police cars and other government uses.