Press Release and Press Kit

28 April 2020

UK-based social enterprise Lanterne has launched Crowdless, an app to help people meet social distancing requirements by helping them avoid crowds and queues.

Crowdless provides real-time info on how crowded popular places such as supermarkets are, so that people can choose the best time and place to visit. Like the route-finding app Waze, Crowdless augments the third-party tracking data with real-time feedback from the users themselves.

Lanterne developed the first version of Crowdless in just three days and released the public version in four weeks. The app was launched on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store on 20 April. In 3 weeks, the app has received over 36,000 downloads and was the 4th most popular navigation app on the UK App Store.

The app is the brainchild of Lanterne co-founders Sebastian Mueller, Alex Barnes and Yohan Iddawela, who specialise in crisis-technology. They were previously building an app to help people in conflict zones to navigate safely. They were working on the app in Colombia, however, when COVID-19 hit, Colombia went into full-lock down and they were stopped in their tracks.

As they cooled their heels, co-founder, German data scientist Sebastian Mueller, suggested trying to adapt what they were doing to the lockdown that was being introduced throughout the world.

Yohan Iddawela said: “The mission of our social enterprise, Lanterne, is to use data to improve safety and promote economic development. We wanted to see what we could do with our skillset to help people out at such a trying time.

“Our hope is that Crowdless can help people observe social distancing more effectively, stay safe, and play a part in slowing down the infection rate of COVID-19. We’re also committed to ensuring that the app remains 100% free for everyone to use. At the end of the day, we’re a community driven app. We’re trying to provide localised information on how crowded places are so that people can stay safe in their communities and neighbourhoods.”

Alex Barnes said, “Our plans to roll out our core product — an app to help people navigate safely in conflict areas — were heavily disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We were keen to see what we could do to help in the current circumstances, and we came up with Crowdless. We believe it will be extremely useful for people who need to travel to shops and grocery stores, but are trying to meet social distancing regulations effectively to protect themselves and the wider population.”

Sebastian said: “Lanterne has always been about helping people to stay safe, and the COVID-19 pandemic is arguably one of the biggest safety threats of our generation. Focusing on building something that helps people to cope with the current situation was a logical move for us. I’m really pleased that we were able to move from the first idea to launch within only a month. This certainly would not have been possible without the hard work of our very dedicated team and the great support from our partners.”

Information on Data Privacy

Lanterne observes stringent data privacy protection standards. Crowdless is GDPR compliant, and does not collect users’ personal information. Location information is collected on an opt-in basis, only for the purpose of returning the most relevant results. Lanterne works closely with Adapt (weareadapt.io) to ensure high quality data protection standards.

Previous media coverage for Crowdless (previously Keep Your Distance)

BBC News

The Australian Financial Review

The Guardian

UK Research and Innovation

The London School of Economics and Political Science

Oxford University

Contact details and press enquiries:

crowdless@lanterne.ai

Visit crowdless.co for more information.

Twitter: @crowdless_app

Crowdless Wireframe
Crowdless Wireframe
Crowdless Wireframe

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