Imagine you go to the doctor's office, and instead of being handed a clipboard with the usual paperwork, they hand you a tablet. You fill in all of the information digitally and send it via the tablet to their office database. Then, with that same tablet, you have a list of digital magazines to browse instead of making a trip to the magazine stand. Suddenly, the paper trail you used to leave during your doctor's visit has been made completely digital. With new app technology, this could become the norm in many business settings.
Mobile technology has grown exponentially in the past five years with the introduction of the smart phone. Apps, or applications, are not only about games anymore, but functional tools for individuals, businesses, and corporations. While the coding to create an app is complex, some people are working to make the creating and writing of apps more user-friendly. From going to the doctor’s office, to paying bills online, to filing an insurance claim, processes that used to require person-to-person contact and lots of paperwork are being simplified and made digital.
The app scene is even growing in Kansas City. Local game app developer, Jim Bassett with Pocketcake just launched their first game app and are working on creating more. Bassett explains that while the writing of an app is complex, there is also an extensive creation process involved. Oftentimes, multiple prototypes are released for market testing before the app is made available to the public.
Of course, apps aren't just for games. Businesses and corporations are looking heavily into creating apps for both their employees and their customers. Many businesses are encouraged by an app's ability to engage with the consumer in a way that perhaps a brochure or even a website couldn't. With interactive videos and forums, apps provide a unique and profitable engagement between the company and the consumer.
Another local company is making it easier for companies to create their own apps. Kirk Hasenzahl is Co-Founder of Rarewire, a company which has developed a software for companies to use to create their own apps. Someone with only a basic graphic design or web design background can navigate through the software to create their own app. Rarewire has used this software themselves to create apps for local Kansas City businesses such as Boulevard Brewery, Cerner, and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Both Bassett and Hasenzahl agree that Kansas City is developing into a tech hub. Could we be the next "Silicon Prairie?" The field of smart phones that is growing exponentially, this could be a very exciting time for Kansas City.
- Jim Bassett, Senior Project Manager with Pocketcake
- Kirk Hasenzahl, Co-Founder of Rarewire