A couple of BBC stories passed our desks here at BeIT HQ the other day which we liked so much we thought we’d share them with you. Although we are in the business of helping firms recruit IT/Computing staff of all shapes and sizes, even we are regularly amazed by some of the clever and useful stuff that is mooted by our clients and other firms out there at the frontiers of technology. To illustrate….
JustPark is a brilliant app that allows users to share information about parking places. If you are have a spare driveway and someone else is looking for somewhere cheaper to park than the rip-off, no, we’re not holding back our feelings, sorry, very expensive, parking meters and ‘normal’ car parks then the app puts you in touch with each other. A church in London has made nearly £200K so far this year from Eurostar passengers seeking a safe place to park their cars.
Recently, JustPark announced a further step forward, with the app now being put into the BMW Mini’s dashboard computer. A couple of taps on the screen and you’ll be able to book a parking space. How good is that?
While that might seem pretty much as you’d expect, our next story is in a different league, but, in a different way from the JustPark app, offers the human race the opportunity to benefit massively from the technical skill of some of its cleverest and most imaginative members.
BAE systems are developing a system which covers the body of an airplane with micro-sensors, capable of measuring wind speed, temperature, strain and movement. In effect, this would allow the aircraft to ‘feel’ in a similar way to human skin! Like most innovations of this kind, it has been developed for the military but it has obvious benefits for civilian use as well. If successful, it will allow potential problems to be detected before they occur and it could also be applied to cars as well as aircraft, ships and indeed to lots of other devices. It could even be sprayed on to a surface like paint.
Jennifer Cole, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told the BBC, "It could help equipment and technology to 'report back' on local environmental conditions and alert users to when repairs are needed ahead of schedule if hairline cracks are detected early, for example on flood defences and dams.
"Or it could enable water pipes to 'switch on' heating elements automatically during a particularly cold winter that would prevent pipes from freezing and bursting."
So if you are one of those clever people who can make this sort of thing happen, we salute you – and don’t forget to send us your CV!
Michael Phair, IT Recruiter, Be-IT Resourcing