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Waze For Walkers

June 14, 2017

Photo: Courtesy

Sidekix offers walking routes in hundreds of cities

The Israeli high-tech community celebrated when Google bought the Navigational app Waze for $1.3 billion in 2013. Waze uses real time traffic updates from users to help drivers avoid traffic jams, offering alternate routes when needed.

Now Sidekix hopes to do the same thing for walkers, but instead of always offering the most direct route, it offers routes based on interests. For example, if you are a foodie, the app can design a walking route that takes you past bakeries and bars. If you are more interested in culture, museums and galleries will be on your route. The app includes recommendations from other users.

A Youtube video that explains the app offers a humorous take on the app.

“This is a car. This is you. You are not a car….navigational apps are designed for cars. You are not a car.”

The app was designed by three Israelis, including Jenny Drezin, a new immigrant from the US, and has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. There is a version for both Apple and Android.

“I’m a crazy walker — I walk almost everywhere and it’s a big part of my life,” she told The Media Line. “Cities are becoming more pedestrian friendly and more people are walking. We are a tool for urban exploration and discovery and we think walking is the best way to truly explore and experience a place.”

Drezin moved to Israel from Brooklyn, NY four years ago and became interested in the burgeoning high tech scene here. She originally wanted to create an app that would show the safest route for walking including which areas were well-lit.

In their first round of financing Sidekix raised more than one million dollars from angel investors in both Israel and Australia. Since then they have raised more money, although she did not want to give details.

Guy Sever, a product manager in Tel Aviv, has used Sidekix in his home town, as well as in London and Rome.

“In London, I found a few great restaurants and cafes by using the app,” he told The Media Line. “I found this amazing Australian coffee place. I also like that I can also click on any landmark and get the Wikipedia page without opening a browser and searching for stuff.”

He said he usually uses Trip Advisor before he leaves for a trip, and then Sidekix once he’s arrived. He also says he’s found out about events in Tel Aviv that he didn’t know about beforehand.

Sidekix offers choices of routes based on fashion, food, culture, art, or nightlife. The user can also add a stop at an ATM machine or grocery store. The app currently works throughout cities across the UK, Europe, US, Far East, Australia and Israel.



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