Looking Local delivers public sector services on Sky, Virgin and broadband connected Freeview boxes. This means that over 55% of households - around 14 million homes across the UK - have access to real time, interactive government and partner services.
Despite the multiple ways to communicate and interact now available, TV still dominates UK communications consumption; the average person watches TV over 3.5 hours of TV a day. Growth in subscription TV also continues to increase despite the economic climate and is particularly prevalent in social housing with around 67% of tenants subscribing to Sky and a further 13% to Virgin media.
93% of UK homes are now digital on main set and the digital switchover will complete this year (2012). This gives us a fantastic opportunity to deliver useful services to many people who do not - and will not - have Internet or PC access or the ability and/or confidence to use it. The TV presents people who are offline for whatever reason the ability to interact via the remote control.
Across the board, switchover is proving to be a period of heightened awareness and realisation of what DiTV can deliver, a situation enhanced by the range of interactive TV services being promoted via programmes and broadcasters.
OFCOM's Communication Report 2011 reported that over 91% of UK adults now own a mobile phone. This means that mobiles are crucial in any channel strategy. Looking Local has delivered partner services on mobiles for over four years and most recently has developed specifically for smartphones (see below).
With clearer tariffs and improved handset functionality, the mobile web is now a key, popular channel. Looking Local has designed its services to be delivered easily and usefully on all mobile interfaces.
Click here to find out more about the mobile side of Looking Local's technology.
Smartphones have changed the mobile phone landscape, due to their functionality and usability. 50% of teenagers (12-15yrs) and 37% of adults in the UK own a smartphone and their relationship with their smartphone is much stronger than before. For smartphone owners surfing the web is standard. One third of adult smartphone users say accessing their internet on their phone is more important than internet on any other device. And in terms of delivering services to younger audiences, 16-34 year olds are significantly more likely to surf the web via a smartphone than other age groups.
Millions of apps for both iPhone and Android are downloaded every month. Looking Local allows partners to take advantage of this popularity by delivering services designed specifically for smartphone handsets, as well as a range of smartphone apps.
For more click here
Looking Local now delivers services from over 130 local authorities, housing associations and PCTs - as well as a number of key national partners - into the heart of socially networked Britain. Nearly 50% of the population uses Facebook, whether by mobile and PC, now a wide range of public services are available to people as they update their status or check news from family and friends.
If you are a Facebook member, you can now log in and see Looking Local's public sector service app here.
Possibly more important than Facebook members being able to access services via Looking Local's page, is that this app allows our partners to embed services into their own Facebook presence. Whether that is the complete set of services they make available or just a few key services e.g.: job searching or 'report it', it is easily achievable.
Bracknell Forest has worked with us to show how it is done. You can see the whole of their Looking Local service embedded in their existing Facebook page here.
To read more click here
Consumer Electronics Platforms
In early 2009 Looking Local was the first UK government service to make itself available - purposely designed and deployed - specifically for the Nintendo Wii. Looking Local is platform agnostic, and the Wii represents a great additional platform to widen access to public sector services.
OFCOM research shows that 54% of UK homes have a games consoles and one third of adults use games consoles at home. The major player in this market is the Wii, so we believe in an effort to make public sector services as accessible as possible all channels should be promoted.
Many customers, particularly in the housing and health sectors, have been looking for a cost effective way to make services available to those who need them most and the Wii fits their requirements in many ways; economical, easy to use, popular, easy to install, accessible and via Looking Local capable of delivering a range of additional local and national government services. To read more about delivering housing services on games consoles and touch screens click here.
Looking Local has been involved with delivering services to older people via games consoles on the TV and the results have been incredibly positive. To find out more click here.