Mobilize your city: BattaTúra

Technology shapes our life in various, unexpected ways. The municipality of Szazhalombatta, a city of 20,000 habitants near the capital Budapest in Hungary was facing the challenge which cities face all the time. To provide meaningful engagement with elderely citizens. More movement results in healthier and more meaningful active citizens. Foster relationships and offer a unique perspective on the city.

Here is Tamas Ladi, the creator of the app, the co-founder at Maxellco Labs to tell us the idea behind the Battatura app. Hello Tamas!

Hello Marcell, thanks for the call. I think it is a typical challenge for many cities. In general in Europe the aging population impose a great change on how municipalities work and there is an increasing role on providing physical and mental well-being to the citizens. Battatura the app tackles the issue, by mobilizing the citizens, inviting them to take long walks in the city and its vicinity, inviting them to take part in small exercises and meaningfully involved in the cultural aspects of the city. 

When I downloaded the app, it gave the impression of a great city discovery app. What more does the app give to the user? 

Yes exactly. The city discovery aspect is a perfect form of gamification, and to give excitement to the long walks. So this is the backbone of the system. We distributed QR codes in various locations, and at each point we gave a task to the user to complete. By checking in with the QR codes, the system counts extra points for the users, who collect points on their profile. Another great gamified element. This makes the app fun to use and always give more as you use it repetitively for long. 

Mobile app, QR codes and point collection. Isn’t it too much to take in for your target audience – the elderly?

You would be surprised, but this is a great misconception about this age group. Almost everyone has a smartphone and manages apps. We hosted demo and group walks to educate the team about the QR codes. It was a really quick learning curve. Also the community effect is strong, where the players are helping each other out. It is good to see that it grows organically. Our UI/UX design is also simplified and extremely friendly and straightforward I can say. 

Can you tell us some stats about the app?

Sure. As of today we count 2,500 downloads in a city of 20,000. That is a good proportion. In 500 days our users have crossed the world – collected as much as 40,000km all together. We have recorded 50,000 check-ins with the QR codes. So the app exceeded our initial expectations by 10x.  

Were there any unexpected hurdles or roadblocks on the way? Or anything that did not go as planned? 

There is always something that does not go as planned, but our team spirit is to find solutions fast. We invested great efforts to combine all these elements together: the community features, the gamifications, the city walks, the QR codes. It is a complex system beneath the surface.

The app performs better than expected. At one time we were in the top3 apps in Hungary. This is a great recognition of our work. It is truly inspiring to see how this app can help families to bond together across generations. In some households Battature becomes a weekend activity. 

What are your plans and visions for the future? Where will Battatura (Touring in Batta) take us?

My big dream is to see this app, and know-how in other cities and communities nationally and internationally. At every location the game can be adapted, its themes could be personalised. It will also open up the opportunity to our users to visit other places and meet with locals. We will keep working towards this direction. 

Thank you Tamas for being with us today. Where or how to try the app? 

Simply visit the site and  download the app in your store, iTunes or Google. Sign-up and start the tour. Visit Szazhalombatta and have fun!

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