I have, not surprisingly, had my eye tuned for new mobile uses, and have recently spied a couple of ones I had not noticed. These range from the predictable but cool to the novel (at least to me).
First, on a recent train trip, the conductor had an app where she could check seats. Having missed a connection, the hope was that there were seats available on the next train. Without a reservation, the procedure used to be that you’d just grab a seat and hope no one had it reserved. I this case, the seat was available after departure, but there was no way for me to know whether it would stay that way through the other stops. The conductor, however, whipped out a device, checked, and was able to confirm all the way to the destination. Very cool.
And today, in museums, I noticed tour groups that not only had the requisite signage, but were using technology in interesting ways beyond the canned audio tour.
For one, I noticed a tour guide speaking quietly into a microphone, in a sacred place. I then noticed that there were a bunch of people with headsets coming from a device hung around their necks. They’d found a way to have the guide narrate the tour without disturbing others and without requiring the attendees to be right near by.
I noticed another group with what looked like mini-walkie-talkies hung around their necks. This would allow sending out messages but also two way communication.
The latter two, at least, seemed to require custom hardware, but wouldn’t necessarily have to if everyone could get an app. Regardless, however, we’re finding new ways to harness technology to allow us to Connect and Compute. And that’s two of the four C’s of mobile.
Rick Steves, the travel author (who we’ve found useful) has audio files you can download, as one form of Content, and you can download transportation maps for cities (as well as apps). Looking at Capture, I wonder about the ability to take pictures or thoughts and share with your tour group.
Overall, the opportunities to enhance not only our productivity, but also our leisure are being improved through mobile. What’s next?