Hashplay: Contextualizing Data for Smart Cities

Jan-Philipp Mohr, CEO and Founder
The coming decades will witness massive migration— in millions—to urban areas. The resultant population swell in cities will necessitate administrations to assimilate ‘smart things’ into city infrastructures in an unprecedented manner. There is only one problem in that. These ‘things’ will produce massive volumes of data every day, and that presents us with a paradoxical situation. While these datasets will allow us to identify and address newer challenges, managing and analyzing millions of them will be the real challenge. The remedy could be a means through which we can break down data points and draw visual patterns within a city. However seeing the data flow in real-time alone is not enough; seeing the data in the right context is equally vital. “To understand the origin of a data point and its real impact one should be able to visualize everything around it,” says Jan- Philipp Mohr, CEO and Founder of Hashplay. “Augmented and virtual realities are the perfect medium to interact with such data and we have the right mix of artificial intelligence and visualization which can help solve a significant amount of management and developmental challenges of urban areas of the twenty-first century.”

Hashplay provides an analytic structure that allows users to visualize what is happening within their cities and how it is evolving. This allows identifying not only existing challenges and bottlenecks but also the challenges that arise as a city changes. The undergirding platform is structured as a data lake into which cities can add data directly as well as by connecting existing data handling systems such as SAP and Oracle. By accommodating systems users may already have, the platform prevents investments from becoming irrelevant. This aspect also provides the potential for additional data conduits which would allow users to tap the full potential of every bit of data generated in their city. “Our visualization suite gives administrations and businesses the opportunity to reap tremendous value by interacting with data points and understanding the context in completely unique ways.”

The firm despite being only three years old is playing important roles in many industries and cities. Mohr talks about a Berlin-based exhibition company.

Our visualization suite gives administrations and businesses the opportunity to reap tremendous value by interacting with data points and understanding the context in completely unique ways

Hashplay is helping the company to digitally transform its operations, such as traffic management, and respond according to real-time needs. He stresses that the project is more than just creating an app and that his firm is enabling the customer to create a framework to which extra services and digital providers can be added to the platform. The success of this young firm is attributable to its non-rigid structure. Other than a base in San Francisco, the company doesn’t maintain additional offices, and its workforce is globally distributed at locations across the US, Germany, London, Italy, and countries in Asia. This allows Hashplay to have lean operations and remain agile; this also means that the company can be reactive and receptive toward developments in this highly dynamic market which could stem from any part of the world.

Mohr admits that the solution Hashplay is building is a small component of a bigger framework which will require the participation of many partners for fruition. The future cities will run on data coming in from different sources such as self-driving cars and numerous robotic components, which possibly will be provided or maintained by different entities. The data that these things generate will need to be brought over to a single fabric that allows cities to collect actionable insights and visualize potential impacts effectively. “Our solution is a stepping stone to enable the world move in that direction. We need a lot of partners to react to the changes and build cities of the next century.”


San Francisco, CA

Jan-Philipp Mohr, CEO and Founder

Provides visualization technology which allows users to understand the context of data and act on them