Last semester Andrew Hickey (L) and Myron Hedderson
(R) worked with business professor Dr. Jim Wyse (centre)
to develop business plans for his new Internet radar
By Aimee Sheppard
When Andrew Hickey and Myron Hedderson graduated with their
bachelor of commerce (co-op) degrees last month, they took
a number of practical experiences with them. As part of the
Current Topics in Information Systems course, taught this
past semester by Dr. Jim Wyse, both students learned about
an emerging high-tech area and were able to contribute to
some exciting new research.
Dr. Wyse’s research interests lie in an area called
location-based, Web-connected, mobile commerce or m-commerce.
M-commerce is a new area of e-commerce where Web-based location-aware
technologies support commercial transactions. Using a handheld
computer like a Palm Pilot, a global positioning system (GPS)
receiver, and a data management system designed by Dr. Wyse,
users are able to search for a particular business operation
or community service based on criteria including proximity.
For example, Dr. Wyse demonstrated how you could customize
your search criteria to look for golf courses across the province.
The screen would then display all available courses in relation
to the user’s location.
His technology known as i-Dar, short for Internet radar, has
been in development for several years. One of the technical
challenges he encountered during i-Dar’s development
required the creation of a specialized data management technique
that is currently the subject of a patent application in the
“One of the most gratifying experiences in a professor’s
career occurs when teaching activities and research interests
come together,” said Dr. Wyse. “This area of work
is rich with interesting research topics about new technological
developments and applications. The subject interests students
and prepares them for developments in their future business
environments.” As part of their course projects, Mr.
Hickey and Mr. Hedderson applied the location-based prototype
information to two different ideas.
Mr. Hedderson worked on an application called MunSpots that
provides location-based information focused on the needs and
activities of students. One of the features he was exploring
was route mapping where the computer would indicate the shortest
route between campus locations.
“Dr. Wyse’s implementation was a good starting
point for discussing the ins and outs of GPS- enabled devices,
as well as some of the details of bringing a new technology
from the development stage through the commercialization process.
Doing a business plan based on the i-Dar technology got me
thinking about other applications for the technology, and
a lot of the details I would have missed if we just did the
course from a textbook.”
Mr. Hickey worked on an application titled Hometowns that
presents information on communities in i-Dar’s spatial
or location-based format.
“During the last few months of school, I couldn’t
get my mind off location-based commerce. I am still brainstorming
ideas for software applications and exploring revenue streams.”
More information on Jim Wyse’s research activities and
development projects is available through his Web page www.busi.mun.ca/jwyse.