Today's public transportation systems are becoming simply too big, complex, and popular for humans to maintain. Maintaining this infrastructure is a complex task that's only becoming more complicated with the steady increase in population and the rise of megacities. But we are finding that our greatest assets in tackling these challenges are data and smarter infrastructure software. With sensors and mobile technology, we can finally create the smart networks we need to understand these ever-changing systems.
While mobile computing is becoming the darling of marketers, its explosive growth rate is rather daunting, with more customers shopping via mobile devices every day. Forrester Research anticipates mobile commerce will exceed $31 billion by 2016. And by 2020 there will be 10 billion-plus devices in the pockets and palms of consumers.
People say they'd like to influence or actively participate in their local government. In fact, according to a Civic Plus Digital Citizen Engagement survey, nearly half of those polled want to provide input in their municipal government. But turning this interest into action is one of the biggest roadblocks to implementing local community ideas. How can local municipalities tap into the increasing power of social and mobile technologies to create a community of active influencers?
About four years ago, we started hiring high school interns. The idea was to introduce basic software development skills and help create interest in the field. What we didn't anticipate was how much we'd learn in the process. In many ways, the teachers became the students, and the experience continues to transform the way we view risk, reward -- and the user experience.