The Road Home

road trip

Earlier this week, I made my way to TechDays Ottawa by train. With the conference wrapped up, I’ve joined my coworker Damir Bersinic in a rented Ford Escape Limited on the trip back to Toronto. As I write this, we’re in Brockville (a.k.a. “Brock Vegas”), fresh from a classic diner dinner (pictured above), and acquiring some much-needed caffeine at a Starbucks drive-thru.

aneglos diner

windows phone 7Going on the road’s a little different these days thanks to mobile computing and communications technology. Damir’s at the wheel, enjoying stand-up comedy on satellite radio, while I’m riding shotgun, with my laptop linked to the internet via a Rogers HSPA+ “Rocket Stick” and my Windows Phone 7 displaying our current position on Highway 401.

All this time on the road got me thinking: if you’re planning on writing Windows Phone 7 apps but are stuck for app ideas, give some thought to the needs of truckers, fleet drivers and other people whose jobs keep them on the highway for hours at a time. What sort of apps would they need? What can an app do to simplify their lives or remove drudgery? What sort of problems would they encounter in their job that could be solved by having an always-there, sensor-equipped, location-aware networked computing device?

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.