The Mobile Web
Ok, I am back in Cleveland after my brief one day trip to Boston. I wish I could have stayed longer but previous plans kept me from extending my trip. As it was, I almost didn't make it back home. Me and six of my airplane buddies literally had to run from one terminal to the end of another terminal to try and make our connection to Cleveland departing in 15 min. (It also happened to be the last flight of any airlines to Cleveland.) The airline industry has definitely changed, no help from gate attendants who handed us a new ticket for a flight leaving at 7:00am the next day and told us we weren't going to make it in time to our gate last night. My six new friends and I decided we would rather give it a shot and see the door closed rather than accept defeat. While the airline was less than helpful, I have to say other travelers and airport personnel were very helpful as we sprinted to our gate.
Now after a few Advil and a mental note to workout a little bit more, I have begun to think about some of the other speakers and their presentations.
I found the presentation from Andrew Yu, the Mobile Devices Program Manager for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, especially interesting. Andrew and his team are responsible for developing MIT's integrated mobile web site, m.mit.edu. The m.mit.edu site is designed work on several mobile devices (i.e. smartphones) to assist with basic services on campus. Here he describes his vision for mobile computing at MIT. The m.mit.edu site focuses on providing faculty and students with necessary information at their finger tips. It is not research information, it is information that makes working and attending school at MIT just a little easier. Shuttle bus schedules, class information, professor contacts, maps, etc. are all available and very very easy to read and access.
They recorded our presentations and I will link to it when it is available, because my little description just won't quite capture how cool his project is.
I found his presentation so interesting because I could immediately see how hospitals could implement something similar for patients and families. Many of these people spend lots of time in the hospital with their sick relative. Think of how helpful it would be to have a map of the hospital (interior and exterior) along with parking information, cafeteria information, doctor and appointment contact information, all available on the phone. Hospitals could expand that by including a map of the nearby surrounding with hotel and restaurant information.
Take a look at the m.mit.edu site, see how easy it is to navigate and how potentially informative it is. Then think about the possibilities something similar might do for your hospital or quite possibly your library.