Kriston Capps is a staff writer for CityLab covering housing, architecture, and politics. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine.
Pilgrims will be able to follow the papal leader’s upcoming visit to Philadelphia (and plan their own) using an app developed by IBM.
Pope Francis? There’s an app for that.
That’s right. Philadelphia is rolling out a new app in advance of the Pope’s upcoming visit in September. The app will help pilgrims find events and routes related to Pope Francis’s visit, along with information about cultural institutions and events for families. It will even translate the Pope’s speeches into various languages via captions.
The app is the work of IBM, which is rolling out tools and systems for nonprofit organizations and causes. The Church is one of them. The City of Philadelphia and the 2015 World Meeting of Families worked with IBM to build out the app—which I sincerely hope is called Appostolic See.
The program is related to IBM’s effort to use its Watson computer to build a “Siri for cities,” so to speak. IBM has launched a number of nonprofit or public apps, including a special-ed reading app for Argentina, a medical appointment calendar for seniors in Ireland, and disaster-relief apps for places across the world.
Pope Francis will only be traveling in Philadelphia for a few days (September 18–29). But the app will be useful for much longer: The city intends to adapt it as a play-by-play for the Democratic National Convention in 2016.