The augmented reality-based app connects mobile workers to potential working spaces – coffee shops, libraries, formal co-working spaces and Wi-Fi hotspots etc. – and provides ratings on Internet connectivity, “community feel”, power sockets, and, crucially, the quality of coffee. With the app installed, simply hold up the iPhone to view the surrounding area and, bingo, information pops up with working spaces nearby. It’s pretty neat.
However, prior to the latest release, the service only covered a limited set of countries and locations based on the work done by WorkSnug’s official team of reviewers. With this new version, in a move reminiscent of the likes of Foursquare ‘opening up’, anybody can add a new location anywhere in the world – via the web or iPhone app – enabling users to post their own potential workspaces without being limited to officially supported cities (London, Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Rotterdam, The Hague, Leiden, and Brighton).
The other new feature is the ‘Decibel Meter’, created in partnership with Plantronics. Users can now take and submit noise readings in any WorkSnug workspace. The idea is to create a “noise-level history” to enable WorkSnug users to find the best location that meets their noise preference, which is quite clever. I for one hate to work in dead quiet coffee shops, it’s the atmosphere that entices me to leave home. Other mobile workers I know can’t stand too much noise.
WorkSnug was founded by “futurist and entrepreneur” Richard Leyland and is based in London. Of note, Niall Murphy, founder of The Cloud wireless company, is a board member. Along with Plantronics, WorkSnug has a commercial partnership with Cisco, through their Connected Urban Development programme.