Students are frustrated when they travel across campus to find that there are no available PCs for them to use to study during peak times. Computer availability is published on the university's website in text-only pages, that are not optimised for mobile devices so are not suited for access during transit.  EUSA have stated that better information for PC availability at the university is highly desired.

There have been previous attempts to solve this problem at Edinburgh. In 2016 a student intern created a mobile site that showed PC availability across campus but it was not deployed prior to the student leaving.

We propose creating a context aware, progressive web app (PWA) for students to access PC availability on a device of their choice that will leverage existing data sources. PWAs are web applications that load like regular web sites but have additional functionality such as offline support, push notifications, and device hardware access. Because PWAs leverage web technologies that are platform agnostic, the same application can run in a desktop browser, be viewed on mobile, or installed like a native mobile application on any modern mobile operating system.

With permission, the PWA will be able to access the student's current location and find the nearest available computer to them. The core app will provide availability information and directions to the student to ensure they can find an available PC easily.

We will collaborate with the Web Interfaces Team on the design of the application, using the user testing data gathered from the student intern project where applicable.

Time permitting, we will extend the application to provide push notifications about availability at given time periods, set up bookmarks for favourite study rooms, and retrieve information on desk availability from the Occupeyes sensors currently being trialled at the Main Library.

Current project status

Report Date RAG Budget Effort Completed Effort to complete
June 2019 BLUE 0.0 days 0.0 days 0.0

Project Info

PC Availability App
Innovation Programme 2018/19
Management Office
Project Manager
Andrew Millington
Project Sponsor
Gosia Such
Current Stage
Start Date
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Close Date
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