Riding the Technology Wave

The old¬†adage,” The more things change, the more they¬†stay¬†the same” is meant to describe the (non-) effect of technological, political, and social change on human nature. The original author¬†intended this to mean that while the world today is very different from the world of the past, the people themselves are the same. If you were to use a time machine to pick up a baby from the 16th century and raise him today he would have all the same advantages and foibles of any modern man. Similarly, many of the obstacles¬†we encounter as a society:¬†bureaucracy,¬†intolerance, and selfishness are present in every era of human civilization.

But it is a mistake to confuse the fact that human nature never changes with the reality that human behavior almost never stops changing. This is the cardinal mistake that industries and people have made for hundreds of years. The printing press changed the reading and learning habits of people around the world while early industrialization changed buying and¬†manufacturing¬†behaviors. At each turn, those advantaged by the old ways fought tooth and nail, ultimately¬†unsuccessfully¬†to prevent these changes. While human nature remained unchanged the actual behaviors: patterns of activity, methods of¬†accomplishment, and ways of¬†achieving¬†success were fundamentally altered. The are some recent examples of this phenomenon that can help us understand where we might do better. (more…)

The Drive to Make the Dumbest Smartphone

You’ve probably heard the old joke or some variation by now: “If cars were more like computers we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 mi/gal, but for no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.”

Well, if your car was more like a smart phone:

  • It would do absolutely everything faster except its primary purpose: driving. That would be exactly the same – maybe a little worse.
  • All tolls on the road would go up and you’d be limited in how much you can drive in a given month.
  • It would have really sleek lines and a polished look that¬†you would never get to see because you needed to cover it up¬†at all times to avoid constant scratches, dents, and smudges¬†from normal use.
  • It would only work on certain types of roads and only in your own country¬†unless you’d wanted to swap out all the tires.
  • It would come with dozens of accessories you don’t want or need, but would be missing key features like a radio or air conditioning. But don’t worry, you can add these on later for an extra fee.
  • If it ever broke you couldn’t get it repaired or replace a part, the dealer would just swap it with an identical car.
  • The manufacturers would be competing with each other about who has the largest number of aftermarket add-ons, but if you install them anywhere by the dealership you void your warranty.
  • The interior would be many times smaller than¬†your old car, but¬†the windshield is¬†five times larger.
  • It’s so simple to use.¬†The manufacture didn’t want you to have to worry about little things like seat position, cup holders, window visors, or leg room so they made it one size fits all.
  • It will easily replace all your other modes of transportation unless you need to leave the road and then you have to get out.
  • You would have to fill up the tank at least once a day.
  • From the outside¬†your car¬†looks exactly like every other car on the road.
  • All the car manufacturers would be suing each other claiming they have exclusive rights to features like: “turning right”, “parking”, and “lockable doors”.
  • Even though you car works perfectly well for¬†how you drive¬†you’ll get a new one every couple of years when your lease runs out because the new one has a slightly better dashboard layout. (more…)

Mobility Growing Pains

About three months ago I was considering a blog post about how the diversity and fragmentation in the mobile operating system environment was going away. Nokia and¬† Microsoft were getting together, Android was growing by leaps and bounds and even Blackberry was planning to run Android apps, Apple seemed rock solid, and WebOS was purchased by a big player with deep pockets. Now? Not so much. Oh what a few months can mean . . . (more…)

New Features: GPS Mapping

Our development team has been working hard this summer and we are excited to announce some new functionality within the DATArrive platform! While GPS functionality has been around for sometime, the real value is leveraging that technology to provide relevant information to make data informed decisions. These latest enhancements do just that.

Handset Locator Map

The handset locator map can be used to get the last known GPS location for your handsets. This map will automatically center on your central office. A map legend is provided to help you identify whether the location shown is pinpoint GPS (from the handset itself) or comes from the nearest cell tower. Depending on your mobile device and GPS conditions at the time the data was captured, you may see more or less cell tower GPS values. Clicking on a map icon will give you more details and provide a direct link to that user’s GPS breadcrumbs.

Handset Locator Map

Breadcrumb Map

The next map: ‚ÄúBreadcrumbs‚ÄĚ will allow you to pick a date and user and see their movement throughout the day. This map also has a legend that can be helpful and an option to show cell tower GPS values in addition to pinpoint GPS (the default). The details for the breadcrumb map are stored for one month.

Breadcrumb Trail

GPS Dispatching Assistance

Finally, if you are using the delivery, inspection, or service dispatch boards you can take advantage of a new feature where DATArrive can suggest an agent for a particular assignment based on their last known location. Simply, select the deal that needs assignment and press the Suggest Agent button. A map will appear centered on the key location for the activity and icons will represent the nearest agents. Click on an icon to see more details or to assign them directly from the map.

Dispatch Agent Suggestion
These new features will provide tremendous value for companies within the courier industry, field service industry, security industry and construction industry.