ASU student Megan Keenan takes part in a demonstration of the university’s newest choice in campus tours – a first-of-its-kind GPS-enabled, self-guided walking tour.
Beginning in September, ASU will offer a first-of-its-kind GPS-enabled, self-guided walking tour to visitors on campus in Tempe, Ariz. Using a handheld computer and global positioning satellite technology, visitors can see and hear content about the campus when entering dozens of GPS hotspots located throughout campus.
ASU developed the tour in collaboration with Onpoint Systems, a provider of content for audio tour programs. The concept is the brainchild of Tim Desch, ASU’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, and Robert Boscamp, President and CEO of Onpoint Systems, and an ASU alumnus.
Says Desch, “We give student-guided tours to hundreds of visitors every week. Now, with this innovative use of GPS technology, we’re giving visitors another choice. The tour is a great student-recruiting tool. It’s convenient and flexible and allows students and their families to spend as much time as they want at campus locations that most interest them.”
Tour participants will use Dell’s Axim handheld computer and a receiver and wireless headset to access the GPS-enabled program. The audio-assisted tour allows users to select the schools, colleges and other campus attractions they want to visit. As tour-goers approach a building or landmark with a corresponding GPS hot spot, an audio program provides perspective on the history or importance of the site to student life and career choices.
“Collaborating with ASU on this innovative project was a natural extension of our long-standing relationship,” said John Mullen, Dell’s sales vice president for higher education. “Students today are looking for a tech-savvy school that helps them prepare for the workforce of tomorrow. Using Dell technology on this and other projects on campus, ASU is creating a technology-rich environment that is very attractive to prospective students.”
“Mobility is vital to the higher education environment and ASU’s self-guided walking tour is a great example of innovative technology enhancing the student experience,” said Anthony Salcito, General Manager, Microsoft Education. “The benefits of accessing information anywhere, at any time are enabling institutions to create a more connected learning community and prepare students for tomorrow's careers.”
OnPoint Systems produced the audio tour content using real students and professional voice talent to give visitors a unique, insiders’ perspective of the university, student life and the metropolitan Phoenix area.
Onpoint Systems plans to market its tour technology to other universities and will use ASU’s program as a pilot.
“ASU is setting a new standard for the use of technology that students will appreciate,” states Boscamp. “Today’s students are technically savvy and accustomed to using technology in every aspect of their lives.”
Arizona State University is one of the premier metropolitan public research
universities in the nation. Enrolling more than 57,000 undergraduate,
graduate, and professional students on four campuses in metropolitan
Phoenix, ASU offers outstanding resources for study and research, including
libraries and museums with important collections, studios and performing
arts spaces for creative endeavor, and unsurpassed state-of-the-art scientific
and technological laboratories and research facilities.