Tag Archives: app

Covid19 App Is Available for Download, Does Not Work With Older Phones

Delayed by about a month, you can now download the Covid19 app in Canada, in Apple Store as well as Google Play. However if you are planning on using it on older phones, it will probably wont work and you won’t be able to see if you were exposed to the coronavirus.

covid19 app in Canada

Ontario users took to Twitter demanding explanation why they can not download the app that uses Bluetooth technology to exchange data with cell phones in the vicinity to see if you were infected.

Ontario Premier recommends using the app saying that the more people that will use the app, the more effective it will be.

The app will only work on newer Android phones as well as iOS 13.5 or higher on Apple devices.

Opposition parties say that it is disappointing to see that app does not work on older devices as most of the infected come from either lower income areas or older people who use older devices.

Unfortunately, while it has become very clear that a person’s socio-economic status is a key factor in their likelihood of contracting COVID-19, this app is not very accessible to those Ontarians who don’t have access to the latest smartphones or a pricey data package.

Toronto Public Health data demonstrates that lower income and racialized communities are far more likely to contract the virus, and many of the COVID-19 hot spots we’ve seen over the course of the pandemic have been concentrated in communities of new Canadians, communities with crowded housing, and migrant workers.

Yet, if these folks don’t have access to a newer smartphone — an iPhone newer than the iPhone 7, for example — they won’t be able to download it in the first place. The bottom line is that in order to be effective, this app has to be broadly accessible, regardless of income.


Sara Singh

Deputy NDP Leader

The app was developed by the federal government and Ontario with the help from Shopify and Blackberry. The way it works is pretty simple, it exchanges codes with phones in vicinity and if you stay for longer than 15 minutes with someone who registers as covid19 infected, you will be notified (if you both have the app installed on your phones).

Some users had concern about privacy, but the app does not have your location, your name, your address, your phone contacts or your health information. Both provincial and federal privacy commissioners support the Covid Alert app.

The app has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times as of Monday.

Toronto Startup First To Launch Holographic Chat

thynq3D is a mixed reality development company that created a social holographic chat platform called myxd3D which is extendable to any industry to remotely connect users as avatar representations within each other’s physical environment.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

thynq3D along with the myxd3D application was created by Jason Evans and Sean Ong. Jason has a background in healthcare and specialty pharmacy industries while Sean has a background in the engineering industry. Both Jason and Sean were selected by Microsoft as Wave 1 mixed reality developers for the Microsoft HoloLens when it was first released in March, 2016. That is when they joined forces to create a communications tool within this exciting new mixed reality medium where digital and physical
worlds are blended together allowing users to interact with the
holographic objects which are overlaid through a combination of gaze, gesture, and voice commands.

How are you being financed?

The development efforts and associated costs have been funded by both Jason and Sean. We are happy to discuss possible new relationships with those who may find value and genuine interest with our efforts and the technology.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Mixed reality technology is a new computing medium. What we are seeing right now is similar to version 0 of the iPhone before it was released to the public. We are hopeful that end user adoption of the hardware will occur once the commercial versions are available and the technology matures. Enterprise users are expected to be mainstream users for the technology however in order for our software to be used, enterprises must first make the investment in the hardware technology.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

Currently we look for developers who have a strong .NET/ C# background along with knowledge of Unity3D and 3D modeling. Full-stack development with strong architectural knowledge is ideal. They should also have a very strong interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. The Mixed Reality development community is growing by the day as the HoloLens developers edition is now available in many countries. Development for the HoloLens and other immersive mixed reality devices are for the Universal Windows Platform for Windows 10.

Who is your biggest competition?

The ability to communicate in a mixed reality environment will eventually be a mainstream feature in all mixed reality applications. thynq3D was the first to build and offer this feature in our myxd3D application. The myxd3D application can be pivoted to support any industry for educational, training, knowledge management, entertainment, gaming, engineering, product development, project management, or to support many other business use cases. Microsoft recently acquired AltSpaceVR and have different
business use cases although have managed to provide a strong solution for supporting multi-user communication purposes.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in
revenues? In what markets?

We are licensing our technology to various enterprise stakeholders across several industries. The app is currently offered for free to drive user adoption and we plan to extend the application to additional hardware including smartphones, tablets, computers, and other virtual reality/ augmented reality devices. We are currently building in-app purchasing capability and will offer a tiered software-as-a-service subscription model. Overall interest has been strong and the myxd3D application technology that we built has been well received.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this

The big lesson that we’ve learned so far is that if you can think it, you
can create it. This is the next step in computing technology and
completely transforms the way that we can interact with the world.

Canada To Introduce Border App – No More Waiting in Line

Federal government has created a new app that will help you cross the border much easier and faster. You would need to download and register first.

It is called Known Traveller Digital Identity app, and will first be launched only when you travel between Canada and Netherlands. If all goes according to plan, it will be rolled our to many other countries by 2020.

JESHOOTS / Pixabay

The app will work similar to existing programs like Nexus, program that allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. Basically you will need to register your details such as your passport #, vaccinations taken and records, bank statements, schools you went to, etc. This will allow agents to know who you are even before your flight leaves its gate.

This app will also use your retina and facial recognition to verify that you are exactly who you claim to be.

Accenture, technology company, behind developing this app says that all the information will be very secure.

“No personal information is stored on the ledger itself, ensuring that personal information is not consolidated in one system, which would make it a high value target for subversion,” the company said in a statement to CBC News.

geralt / Pixabay

The app will learn from your travel patterns, and the more countries, and times you cross the border, the more trusted persona, you would become.

Ontario is going to use drones to monitor the highways, and now the government will use your cell phone records to decide if they want to let you in.

“Big Brother is Watching You.” ― George Orwell, 1984

eZWake, Vancouver startup app, best way to wake up according to science

ezWake is a youth-driven company that aims at an extremely simple problem: waking up. The company creates apps that activates the mind enough to make it difficult to fall back into sleep. Eventually, with enough uses, the app being personalized – adjusting its own difficulty and duration to the specific needs of the user.

Who started the company? Do you/team members have tech background?
Alannah Zhou, an executive of Illuminate Vancouver’s Tekathon, started the company. Her position gave her connection to a lot of figures in the Vancouver tech scene as well as the team’s developers with tech backgrounds. Her, as well as the marketers and designers, do not have as much tech background but do have a knack for what they do.

How are you being financed?
We currently have a Kickstarter accessible at http://kck.st/2iq85AE .

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
Starting our project in July, and aiming to launch our app in the fall of 2017, time is our biggest obstacle as we hope to launch sooner in order to more quickly help those in need – those who struggle to wake up, and get out of bed in a timely manner, our mission. At ezWake, that, is what we strive for.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
ezWake tries to use each marketer’s social media network to spread the word of our hiring applications. This gives ezWake a larger pool to select from.

Who is your biggest competition?
Time is our biggest competition. We don’t see other companies (that exist currently) as reason to worry.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?
An area that a lot of small-team apps fail at is marketing and design. We have a passionate team with marketers who have large access to our target market – high school and postsecondary students. Moreover, the app’s unique spin – individualized wake ups with differing durations and difficulties – will help steer in clients who are looking for something fit for them. ezWake has already started a research journey into how people wake up and interact with alarm apps.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.
Hard work works when talent stops working. When a large group of teenagers dedicate themselves to a large project at the heart of summer break, the individuals who are truly driven to make ezWake succeed shine through. Those who prove their passion for the project become the best kind of executives – willing to risk great amounts for the team.

Toronto Avocare Reduces Healthcare Wait Time

Avocare helps reception desks in the healthcare industry reduce their phone volume. They do it by enabling two-way channels of digital communication – text message, Facebook Messenger, and web messaging. To drive efficient communication, they further support both patients and practitioners by automating requests and conversations with our in house developed AI powered assistant. The outcomes are reduced costs for healthcare clinics, and improved patient access and satisfaction.

We sat down with Vikram Luthra, CEO & Founder, to find out more about his company:

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

The company was founded by Vik Luthra, an experienced entrepreneur and corporate executive. Subsequently, Vik partnered with Taylan Pince (CTO & Parner @ Avocare, and an experienced technology leader), to build Avocare’s products. Avocare has a talented team of designers, developer and advisors. Another partner in the business is Dr. Manisha Verma (a family physician), who is a partner and the companies Chief Medical Officer.

How are you being financed?

Avocare has raised pre-seed capital from some early stage investors, including its founder and partners.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

A major obstacle will be barriers to technological change in the healthcare industry. Typically, technology is dominated by larger incumbents and switching and integration costs from existing solutions can be high. Furthermore, especially in Canada, adoption of new technologies is slow – for a number of reasons. Our challenge will be to drive change in a way that lessens the impact of these obstacles and factors on practitioners and patients.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

Taylan, our CTO, has years of experience developing junior technical talent, and also brings with him a wide network within the tech community. Our team and recruitment has been built on this platform.

Who is your biggest competition?

Our biggest competition is web-based technologies that are offer digital services to patients on behalf of clinics. However, it’s important to note that our value proposition and product features differ in many ways – for one, we strive to make our services as accessible and efficient as possible to all parties, with great focus on helping clinic administrators run better practices. Providing great customer service and very simple user experiences help too.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

There are many initiatives that we are working on from both a product and scaling perspective – including growth of our product and expansion into new markets in Canada and the US. We have a pipeline of clinics that are interested in the benefits that our product provides. Ultimately, it requires that we sign on as many clinics, practitioners and patients as possible, as quickly as possible, across key Canadian & US markets.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

Building an incredible product and launching with our first clinic within 5 months is a huge success, however arguably we could have gotten to market sooner. We had recognized problems that needed to be solved long before the start of Avocare, but it took a long time to fully take the plunge – a consequence of over-analysis.

Lesson: As an early-stage startup, moving fast, and constantly iterating on and testing ideas with real world users is the most important thing we can and will continue to do. If we fail at things, it’ll be okay, as long as we pushing hard and fast to drive progress on our path.


Learn more about Avocare here:

Toronto Travel Website SnapTravel Raises $10M Series A

SnapTravel announced today an $8M USD Series A round led by iNovia Capital. SnapTravel allows users to find and book the perfect hotel room over SMS and Facebook Messenger.

Financing was provided by iNovia Capital as well as Lightbank, Bee Partners, and Hedgewood.

What is Snap Travel?

SnapTravel gives you access to great hotel deals over SMS and Facebook Messenger. No app to download. Send a message, book a room. We use a combination of machine learning and natural language processing to surface the best hotel recommendations at the best price. We are enabling commerce via messaging – the most natural environment on mobile.

SnapTravel CEO Hussein Fazal said:

“We are still in the early days of conversational commerce. But the trend is growing. Users want to chat with businesses, conduct commerce, and get things done within messaging apps – where they already spend most of their time.”

View booking video demo here:


Craft Beer Passport Toronto app launched, find cheap beer across Canada

Toronto startup has created a beer app that gives beer lovers access to $2 craft beers (minimum legal price) at bars and breweries across town.

Basically you prepay for the beers, and then get your beers for $2 per 12 oz or 340 ml. Stuff you prepay for expires in either 3 or 6 months so you better drink up. The app also allows you to try and find some craft beers you never tasted before and recommends them to you when you pick a bar to go to.

This app has been years in the making and includes a custom beer map, profiles of each bar/brewery, flexible payment plans and more to help Toronto beer lovers explore their local craft beer scene affordably! You can download it here for iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/craft-beer-passport/id1231854360?mt=8 and Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ca.craftbeerpassport.passport&hl=en

This app is not the first one to hit the market, there are few other established ones like Brewery Passport (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brewery-passport-discover/id721334232?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4) and Uptappd (https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/untappd-discover-beer/id449141888?mt=8) but Craft Beer Passport is definitely the most Canadian.

It seems like the app is only available in the City of Toronto not even in GTA / suburbs, and Toronto is the only city for now. Many more locations to come please? Trekking from Oakville to High Park for a $2 beer might prove challenging no matter how much you love beer. 😉

We sat down with Michael Stulberg , app founder, to get some more details about his beer app:

Michael – tell us more about your app: 

Craft Beer Passport is a value-added marketing company providing discounted access and stewardship to the craft beer community. Using a mobile app, customers embark on city-wide scavenger hunts to collect deeply discounted craft beer at 40+ bars and breweries across Toronto.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Mike Stulberg | Founder + UX/UI, and James Eberhardt | Mobile Developer

How are you being financed?

Craft Beer Passport is currently being financed by Futurpreneur and through revenues.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Our greatest challenge to overcome is to expand to other cities while keeping the hyper-locality at the core of our brand–and the craft beer scene in general–intact.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

James was a neighbor of mine. We met in the neighbourhood and we became basketball friends. Later when I was in need of a developer he offered up his services!

Who is your biggest competition?

As of the time of writing, there are no other competitors in this space in our markets. There are small upstarts across North America but few have had our success and even fewer have a mobile app.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in
revenues? In what markets?

We need to expand to other cities and focus on digital marketing initiatives in those spaces. Implementing a referral and gifting system on the app as well as an advertising stream will help our revenues grow.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this

The greatest lesson i’ve learned has come into play during sales conversations. Perhaps this is a Canadian phenomenon but there is a tendency not to say ‘no’ but simply to fail to return calls, show up to meetings, etc. My philosophy has become ‘only take no for an answer’; which is to say, don’t stop selling until you get a definitive negative response.


Watch video about the app:

How It Works! from Craft Beer Passport on Vimeo.