Cloud computing is quickly becoming a staple of technology, especially in business. Having access to files anywhere, anytime is a necessity and allows for a more fluid and capable business. However, the ability to couple this technology with others, such as geolocation technology, will create new opportunities for developing apps and programs that change the way we live and do business . One example of this is Wayfiler from Float Mobile Learning.
Wayfiler is an application that combines geolocation technology and cloud computing to allows users to receive information based on geographic contextual situation. Using Wayfiler, one user can upload a document, photo, video, or other file through a Dropbox account, and tie it to their GPS location. Then, when other users are in or near that same location, they can use Wayfiler to find and download the file.
“The possibilities are virtually limitless for how Wayfiler could be used to help you learn about the environment around you,” said Chad Udell, Float’s managing director and author of Learning Everywhere. “People or organizations could tag maps and floor plans to specific buildings, maintenance records and educational videos to a piece of equipment, or relevant tasks and checklists to a certain area of a facility. Any type of file or document you can store in the cloud can be tied to a location for easy lookup.”
So lets think of how an app like this could change the way we go through daily tasks and events. As you enter a museum, you could pull up a map or additional information that the museum hosts. At a diner you may find a list of the daily specials. Maybe while hiking through a national park you bring up a list of animals indigenous to the area or a map to find a trail that best suits your path. The only limit to this type of contextual learning is the effort that people are willing to put into them. Geolocation filing could be the next big step and is just as easy as updating a website, which nearly every business does today.
There are, however, a few drawbacks to this. I couldn’t find any way to tag files to a location other than the location I was currently in, which seems like a major oversight. Further, unless many establishments adopt Wayfiler quickly, there are large “dead spots” where files simply haven’t been uploaded yet. And that everyone would have to rely on the same app altogether seems a little backward.
Technology is quickly changing, and I can see geolocation-based cloud storage being a huge update to our everyday lives. In the near future I could walk into a grocery store and automatically receive an email or text with coupons, or walk down a block and look at various specials as I walk near stores. But for now, apps like Wayfiler are only stepping-stones to that “always plugged in” lifestyle.