In an ever-expanding technological world, mobile applications are an easy and effective way to support the concept of staying connected while on the go.
In an article by Sam Costello on LifeWire.com, it is said there were over 2.1 million apps in the Apple App Store as of March 2018, proving just how expansive technology has become.
Mobile apps can be requested or created for any number of reasons, one leading purpose being to connect and inform users. Connecting and informing a community is the same reason UW Oshkosh wants to implement the Innosoft Fusion software and FusionGO mobile application.
Implementing the Fusion software on UWO’s campus would be a great way for a widely used portion of our campus to stay in contact with the students and continue developing a strong relationship between the recreation services that we have here and the students who use them.
FusionGO is among the most successful campus athletic mobile apps in the business with 64 listed school clients on Innosoft’s website. Some of the schools that use Innosoft’s technology include Arizona State University, University of Notre Dame, Pennsylvania State and even UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse.
The FusionGO app is used by these schools to connect their campus, students and recreational activities with the use of a single application. Within the software, schools are able to customize the layout to fit their campus needs.
Most of the time, the FusionGO app is used to give students an easy access, one-stop place for information about campus recreation and updates. UWO’s plan for FusionGO would be the same.
Nathan Scott, director of UW Oshkosh Student Recreation, said the goal for UWO’s FusionGO app would be to allow students to learn about events, classes provided by the department and equipment they have available. The Student Recreation and Wellness Center at UWO doesn’t always have the best advertising for its events, classes or new equipment and the app would help to post updates for students to see easily.
“Really it’s like any other mobile app; it’s a convenience,” Scott said. “And it creates more personal engagement with the users.”
Almost three-fourths of the UWO student body uses the SRWC or participates in some sort of SRWC entity, whether it’s intramural sports or a yoga class. Scott said it is because of this majority of the student population that uses student recreation entities so often that the campus is in need of FusionGO.
“We know that students are interested in the things we’re doing,” Scott said. “Over 70 percent of students utilize our programs and services, so to me that’s a big enough number of the campus body to think that this would be popular among them as well.”
One feature that the Fusion software will allow the SRWC to implement would be the use of biometric scanning upon entry to the facility.
In the wake of recent security issues over the world, this sort of feature may seem unsettling, but there are a few things that students should know before jumping to conclusions.
This biometric scanning was an idea students brought to the SRWC because of the inconvenience of not being able to get into the facility if they forgot their student ID.
Scott said with the system the SRWC has in place today, there’s no other way for staff to identify students unless they scan their IDs. With this new software, the biometric scan would allow students to gain access to the recreation center without their IDs.
As for the privacy factor of having one’s hand print on record for potentially anyone to find, this is nothing to worry about with the software’s method for scanning.
The scan would make hundreds of measurements for parts of the students hand and record that rather than looking at fingerprints. This means that students’ hands could serve as an individual identifier for the facility but only for the facility.
Measurements would serve no other purpose and pose as no specific identifier to you for anyone else, leaving it as a safe, harmless form of identification. Stealing identities can’t be done by knowing the length of someone’s fingers.
This feature would be entirely opt-in, which means that students could still use scanners to scan their IDs. Those who are uncomfortable with the biometric scanning or maybe just don’t want to change from their normal ID scanning wouldn’t have to worry.
Scott said the SRWC’s hopes are to have the software installed over the summer and to have it ready for student use in the next semester.
“Our goal would be to have as much of the functionality available as possible in the fall,” Scott said.
Although UWO adopting the Innosoft software and FusionGO app would be an exciting and beneficial addition, Scott doesn’t want to risk drumming up too much excitement in case of unknown variables.
“Although we’ve been working on this for a while, we still have a long way to go,” Scott said. “It’s definitely in the plan, definitely a priority, but I’m hesitant to put it out there too publicly because any number of things could happen.”
Scott said even though things seem to be working out fine, he wants to make sure everything will be perfect for when students are finally able to use the software.
“I don’t anticipate any issues but I would just hate to overpromise and underdeliver,” Scott said.
The Innosoft software is a huge hit with other college campuses across the nation, and UWO would be a great fit for using it too. Modern times call for modern measures and this technology will keep the campus on the streamline of technological success.
Our campus has a lot of active students and this would help to keep those students engaged with the SRWC and maybe get even more of the campus involved as well.