Massey launches mobile computing centre

The centre aims to enhance New Zealand's capability in mobile computing

Massey University is officially launching a centre for mobile computing at the end of May. The centre, which has been up and running for six months, is focusing on research in the areas of mobile business, mobile health and mobile learning, says Dennis Viehland, associate professor of information systems at Massey University’s Auckland campus.

Viehland leads the mobile business team at the centre. The mission of the centre is to engage in leading edge research to enhance New Zealand’s capability in mobile computing, he says.

Because of the high cost of mobile phone calls, New Zealand has some of the most pervasive and innovative text-based applications in the world, he says. But when it comes to consumer and business applications, Japan and Europe are ahead of us.

The centre is doing research-based teaching, research promotion and transfer as well as developing short courses about mobile technologies, he says.

Mobile computing is part of the third wave of computing, says Viehland. The first wave was mainframes, the second wave was networked personal computing and the third wave is going to be ubiquitous computing, he says.

“Part of the ubiquitous computing means mobile, embedded computing. The embedded computing is going to come later — right now computing is going mobile,” he says.

“It is a fact that people around the world don’t work at desktops anymore. We need mobile technology to deliver information to where people live and work.”

The launch will let the business community know that there is now a research centre that is designed to develop mobile computing technology solutions, he says.

“If a business, hospital or school has a problem and they think mobile technology may help solve it, we are here to help them figure that out,” says Viehland.

HP, DTSL hold Massey PC contract

Massey University has opted for existing suppliers to equip an undergraduate laboratory with desktop computers. About 1200 PCs and 300 Apple Macs will be obtained from HP and DTSL respectively for the laboratory on a three-year contract.

HP and DTSL were existing suppliers, but this is not a routine “continuation” of their contract, says IT services head Gerrit Bahlman. “They won a competitive tender”.

The machines will be leased and the university is still seeking a partner to operate the lease. Both finance companies and the computer suppliers are likely to bid, says David Bateman, the university’s procurement and insurance manager.

— Stephen Bell

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Tags mobile learningmobile computingmobile healthtext messagingmassey university

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