As the new crop of uni students gears up for the 2012 academic year, they’ll find the University of Waikato ready and waiting for them – on the small screen.
New students simply have to call up Waikato’s dedicated mobile web on their smartphones to view a campus map, find a free workstation in a computer lab on campus or check their lecture timetable.
“Mobile phones are how students today access information – they want to be able to do that anywhere, anytime,” says E-Marketing Adviser Hariet Waffenschmidt.
“Our mobile internet (m.waikato.ac.nz) has been optimised for small screens with quick download times and an iPhone-style interface for easy navigation. And best of all, it can be accessed on any smartphone or tablet.”
The mobile web is more than just an app – it offers a range of functions, including site search, links to the University news and events page, and Facebook, and access to bus timetable information.
Through m.waikato, students can also access their University Google Docs, top up their Unicash accounts to pay for printing and internet use, and check out opening hours and the latest arrivals at the Library.
And, says Hariet, students can put any other queries on the University’s Facebook page. “We’re constantly monitoring the page and answering people’s questions, so you can be sure to get a response.”
A future development for m.waikato could be the introduction of ‘augmented reality’. “We’re currently trialling a campus way-finding system which will overlay information on what you see through your phone’s camera,” says Hariet.
“It’s a kind of virtual signage, the advantage is it can see through trees, so even if you can’t actually see the building you’re heading for, you’ll still get the right information on your phone.”
New students should look out for a competition on m.waikato during O-Week to encourage new users to get familiar with what the mobile web has to offer.