Posted on: January 22, 2018
By Sophia de Zeeuw
Co-op, fall 2017
Marketing and Communicatioins
In the year 2062, George Jetson and his family live a sleek, futuristic life with the help of a plethora of technological inventions. The cartoon The Jetsons depicts flying cars, robot servants and 3D-printed food all working together to make George and his family’s lives easier.
Here on campus in the year 2018, we don’t yet have bubble-topped hover drones, but we do have our own little invention to save us time and energy: the newly-improved TRU Go app.
Picture this: Before you drive your (non-flying) automobile to school, you pull out your phone and launch the TRU Go app to check the parking situation. It tells you five spaces are left in Lot N. Knowing that parking is running out, you decide to skip your morning drive-thru run and snag one of the last coveted spots in the lot.
With 15 minutes before your class starts, you don’t have any time to waste in long lineups. But you still need your coffee fix, so on your walk from Lot N you launch the TRU Go app again, this time to check the status of the Tim Hortons queue. The word “MODERATE” appears on your screen, and you’re able to swoop in and grab a double-double. While the teacher takes attendance, you swipe on the app to refresh your current grades and view the exam schedule.
Grouping together academic data, course tools, campus information, parking and transit resources, social media links and help contacts, the app is your one stop for everything TRU. Once you log in you will have access to all of your TRU services with the swipe of your finger. The best part? No more difficulties trying to remember your different myTRU and network passwords either. With single sign-on, the TRU Go app groups it all together for you.
“These new updates to the app are going to simplify life on campus,” said Andrea Rhodes, TRU business analyst. She says TRU’s IT department is always looking for ways to innovate and bring the latest technology to campus.
“One of our goals is to use cloud technology and analytics to improve the student experience,” she said. “Our next step is exploring the possibility of using beacons to enable new location-based services that students can opt-into from the mobile app.”
Beacons are small wireless devices that transmit their location information to smart phones using Bluetooth. Beacons will bring about many new TRU Go mobile features, including easier campus navigation, guided campus and nature tours, coupons for campus events and food services, improved accessibility and campus safety, and could potentially replace attendance taking and clickers.
Aside from the TRU Go app, IT has also updated wi-fi coverage to increase speed. More wireless access points have been added to include internet in the campus commons (or “Teletubby Hills”, as they are colloquially known) as well as the outdoor basketball courts, bus stops, residences, Horticulture Gardens, trades work yard, and the Campus Activity Centre. The TRU Williams Lake campus has also received these wi-fi improvements.
If you’ve been making use of the new access points and have been spending your afternoons registering for courses, you may have also noticed IT’s overhaul of the myTRU portal.
“It’s a tighter, cleaner myTRU,” said Rhodes. “It no longer requires a separate password, which is huge. We are one of the first schools to update to single sign on.”
The myTRU portal now has a sleeker and more modern look, with a few added features like the ability to create plans so you can visually see the different colour-coded options for the upcoming semester’s timetable. Another feature is the ability to export your timetable into your personal digital calendar.
While some of the fictional inventions the Jetson’s relied on have become real—like flat screen televisions, smart watches and video calling—technology still has a long way to go before our lives become so streamlined and efficient that we can adopt a three-day, nine-hour work week like George. But we can now reap the benefits of the new and improved myTRU app, stronger and faster extended wi-fi and a more visually appealing and functional myTRU portal.