Meet the Team – Mark Applin, Founder

This month we introduce you to our founder, Mark Applin.

Mark is an accomplished communications professional and founder of both Intermedia and Signly. He has provided strategic communications and tactical support to many clients for many years.  His clients span internal and external audiences in ATM, loss prevention, retail and beyond.

Recent work includes co-authoring The Little Book of Loss. Now in it’s forth edition with global sales of over 45,000 copies. Translated into Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Polish and German. Furthermore, The Little Book series has also been extended into a collection. The collection now includes titles relevant to Customer Service, Health and Safety and Cyber Security.

Mark has a passion for communication, problem solving and technology. Signly was conceived and developed in 2015 by Mark and a charity with a committed to transforming the lives of d/Deaf people through technology.


Signly team members
Signly team members Tim Scannell and Mark Applin.

Passion for change

In partnership with the charity, both the charity and Mark had a passion for making a change. Mark tells us:

“The charity had been working for over 30 years to empower d/Deaf people to lead more fulfilling lives. To do this, d/Deaf people need equal access to information, advice and services. Signly has and will continue to play a significant role in extending this equality of access. Signly delivers smart British Sign Language (BSL) signed content directly to the user’s mobile device.
Until now, using augmented reality seemed a little contrived. Applying the technology to create signed content for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing seemed obvious. Yet no one had done it. As a long-time supporter of the charity, Intermedia shared the idea with the charity to help deliver the project.”

Making a difference

Signly started, and remains, a small team of individuals seeking to make a difference. Thus using their collective experience for the greater good. Since the first installation of Signly at The Roald Dahl Museum and Storytelling Centre  in 2015 the Signly app has received BBC news coverage. It has also run pilot trials with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) and supported Network Rail with their Level Crossing safety campaigns. 2017 saw LBG commence a customer facing trial and Network Rail commit to a years worth of Signly-enabled campaigns.

One in six of the population has some form of deafness – and everyone likes video. We insert a smart layer of signed (or spoken/filmed) digital information onto the screen of a user’s own mobile device. This animates, translates and invigorates their experience by revealing essential BSL information. Open the app, point it at the Signly Signpost and signed content will appear. As if by magic.”

The Signly team are honored to have received global recognition for their work:

  • First of all, Winner of the 2017 Jodi Award in partnership with The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.
  • Followed by a special mention at the Heritage in Motion Awards 2017.
  • Then nominated as a semi-finalist of the 2017 European Social Innovation Competition – Equality Rebooted. One of 30 semi-finalists chosen from nearly 800 entries from across Europe and made it to the last ten.
  • And finally finishing the year a winner. Financial Innovation Awards 2017  winner for Best Financial Inclusion or Outreach Initiative for Lloyds Banking Group in partnership with Signly.

Signly have produced an infographic that is most noteworthy. To read more about Why the world needs Signly’ view the infographic here

Signly Team at Awards
From right to left: Claudia Winkleman, Dominique Bragança, Mark Applin, Rachel Vann, Philip Boyle, Timothy Scannell, Paul Lynam.

What’s next?

2017 was ended on a high as Signly won Financial Innovation Awards 2017 for Best Financial Inclusion or Outreach Initiative for Lloyds Banking Group in partnership with Signly. Mark would describe himself as passionate, creative and a great project manager. Key traits to take the Signly team forward. It seems like Signly is on a positive path and we’re all excited to see what 2018 brings!

For the latest Signly news and updates read this blog, follow us on twitter @SignlyApp and visit our website.