Monday, September 10, 2012

DSDN 112: Ideas...Glorious Ideas

So today in class, we were instructed to brainstorm a little regarding how our navigation system might work. Most of this brainstorming revolved around how the interface would actually work and look, as well as some other potential future visions for our projects.

As a group, we came up with some ideas for a mobile systems, and some of the features that would make our system stand out from the rest. Some of the ideas we came up with were already in some technologies, they just required refining.

One of the ideas we came up with was the idea that for a mobile based application, there could be a function built into the program where it could synchronise with your day planner, and work out your route for the entire day. Since this is a program which is purely based around Kelburn Campus, this could easily become a program that someone would use for their entire degree. The compatibility with pre-existing planning software would allow the program to find a very niche market and be incredibly useful for lost university students.

A simple concept for selecting rooms was also established. It was decided that the easiest way to choose a room from Kelburn's multitude of rooms and lecture theatres would be to allow a selection method that worked via a three-step process.
1st. Building
2nd. Floor
3rd. Room
This selection method would enhance speed as well as general user sensibility.

Another concept that was toyed with was the idea that there could be a button on the map of your route that could display all the nearby utilities, such as bathrooms, ATMs, restaurants, bookstores, and lifts. All of these could enhance the map, but then also be hidden, so as to not clutter the map when navigating.

One of the biggest and potentially selling ideas we came up with as a group was the concept of being able to tell when a friend was nearby. As opposed to directly telling you where your friends were, which could possibly promote questionable stalkerish activities, the system could merely notify you when you had friends in the area.

An interactive and interpersonal feature that we thought of was one where the user could message one of their friends via the application, and ask them if they wanted to meet up. Once the friend using the same application agreed, both applications could work together and figure out an ideal meeting point, and then direct both users to said meeting point, allowing for speedy interactions and expansions of social circles!

Another future vision that I came up with was a very novel, very interesting concept. Completely otherworldly and vastly too futuristic for current technology to ever create, it is a future vision in the truest sense of the phrase.

Features of "The Orb":

-Nuclear powered, internal fusion reactor, runs on water.
-4 directional jets to control location.
-Holographic display, activate on voice command. Brings up full hologram of the building, and then when told the room to find, identifies it in the hologram.
-User then throws the orb into the air, where the jets activate and it hovers at eye level. User can then follow the orb as it leads the user to their destination.
-User location is tracked, so that the orb doesn't go too far ahead of the user.
-The orb pulses light when the destination has been reached, and then can be grabbed out of the air.

Obviously this is completely impossible at present, but some of the technology is feasible. The user interface of the orb could be programmed into a mobile phone, allowing the user to use pre-existing technology to control it, this orb just being the hardware then. A benefit of tracking something in the real world would mean that the user could walk around with their head up (much better for the body, and the social world), and also wouldn't have to be continuously be referring to an object in their hand.

Lots of fun ideas!

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