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This chapter describes the background study in existing mobile applications, Objective C programming language and mobile computing. Objective C programming language is the programming language that use to develop KLRTN.
Existing Mobile Applications
This section described three existing mobile applications, which are Seoul City Metro, New York City Subway and Shanghai Metro. They are chosen because there are popular in the market and reliable.
2.2.1 Seoul City Metro
Figure 2.1 Preference App Seoul City Metro
Seoul City Metro is a feature rich and intuitive subway map application at South Korea. At Seoul-capital of South Korea, each subway has one or more than two line maps posted above the doors, but they're too small to read and it can be more tough if it's crowded with people. This application is most useful in helping user to determine the best route, especially when destination requires transferring between stations. This is a high-resolution interactive subway map application. It contains every subway station and line in Seoul and is a great help getting around the Seoul subway system with an iPhone or iPod Touch. This applies to both English and Korean language. The local citizen of Seoul and visitor fully depends on this application once they are using subway facility.
This application provides several of features. First it is offline database application and completely independent of the Internet with the exception of a software update periodically. People are allowed to use the application without access to Internet. The interface is makes user feel user friendly when navigate the route searches and station details and information. It takes full advantage of touch screen. There are flick around the map to pin point destination, pinch to expand or shrink the map, and touch on locations on map to select or get more information. Moreover, it also has Google Maps that available for every station. Lastly, it can quickly provide the basic information for user. It calculates travel time, number of transfers, train fare and distance in kilometers. It also allows user to bookmark favorites routes for quicker access when a user uses the application another time.
2.2.2 New York City (NYC) Subway
Figure 2.2: Preference App NYC Subway
New York Subway for iPhone and iPod Touch is a comprehensive guide to travel through New York City. It includes latest subway map of New York City Transit. Landscape and portrait modes are available. It consists of detailed map of each line of the subway and provides a precise location of each station on the map. Besides that, this application is fully compatible with Google Maps. The journey planner tool allows user to find automatically the best route to get to destination in NYC Subway. Its interactive map allows user to choose stations for the route and a bookmark manager allows saving the favorite stations and routes. This application is available in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese.
2.2.3 Shanghai Metro
Figure 2.3: Preference App Shanghai Metro
Shanghai Metro is Shanghai's best metro map, its up-to-date with all the metro lines for 2011 on iPhone or iPod. Now citizen and tourist at Shanghai have an up-to-date Shanghai Metro map wherever they go. Shanghai Metro provides a lot of features. First, it allows user to plan a route or search a station and get instant time and price details directly on the map. Besides, it allows user to find the nearest stations using GPS and see a list of the closest metro stations to current location. It also allow user to view the subway map, search stations and plan routes on the go without an Internet connection. Shanghai Metro is bilingual that it is available in English and mandarin. Lastly, its now integrate with street Maps but it require Internet connection.
2.2.4 Comparison Between the 3 application
Seoul City Metro
New York Subway
Interactive subway map
Calculate the time for destination
Calculate the fare for the destination
Integrate with Google Map
Table 2.1: Features Comparison between existing systems.
Table 2.1 summarizes the features of the existing systems. The functions and concept of these systems are slidely sumilar with the system that will be develop, with GPS tracking location of user, staion information with nearby points of interest and location on the Google Map and information about available shuttle bus for each station.
Programming Language Review
This part provides programming language reviews that give more information about the language that will be used in this application. In early 1980's, Brad Cox designed Objective-C in his company Stepstone Corporation. The Objective-C language is designed to enable an easier and powerful object-oriented programming. It works as a powerful set of extensions to the C language. Objective C takes best features from C and Smalltalk. Objective C provides full object oriented programming capabilities just like C and all these things are done in very simple and straightforward way. It needs iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) for this application. The iPhone SDK contains the tools and interfaces needed to develop, install, and run custom native applications. Native Applications is an application designed to run in the machine language and Operating System (OS) being referenced. Native applications are built using the iPhone OS system frameworks and the Objective-C language and they run directly on iPhone OS.
Today, Objective C selected by Apple for developing the application for iPhone and Mac systems. It is used primarily on Apple's Mac OS X and iOS: two environments based on the OpenStep standard, though not compliant with it. Objective-C is the primary language used for Apple' Cocoa API. Apple Cocoa is one Apple of Object oriented application Programming Interface (APIs) for the Mac OS X operating system. Cocoa applications are typically developed using the development tools provided by Apple, specifically Xcode and Interface Builder using the Objective C language. Cocoa applications are considered to be those written using the Cocoa-programming environment for end user
2.4 Mobile Computing
James Bryan Zirmmerman(1999) from University of Maryland European Division in his research paper entitled Characteristics, Business Benefits and Mobile Framework defined mobile computing as "the use of computing devices which usually interact in some fashion with a central information system while away from the normal fixed workplace. Mobile computing enables (a) creation, (b) accessing, (c) processing, (d) storing and (e) communication of information without being constraint to a single location.
Access create Communication Store Process
Figure 2.4 Usage of Mobile Technology
Most automated projects, including mobile computing serves a number of benefits. The benefits can be categorized into two types, namely tangible and intangible. Tangible benefits are described are described as benefits that can be easily quantified where else in intangible benefits are those which are difficult to quantify. Dhawan C. (2001) highlighted some of both tangible and intangible benefits as below. The benefit that mobile computing cam offer such as improved information quantity and accessibility, enhance management effectiveness and increase operation efficiency. The benefits are further discussed below.
2.4.1 Tangible benefit
Mobile computing can lead a great range of benefits such as, lower cost where cabling are reduced, less time spent by professionals on administrative work, real time data entry, reduce electrical and wiring cost, fewer complaints, elimination of extra travel time and reduced intermediate support staff.
2.4.2 Intangible benefits
Benefit that gained from automating an application will improve various area such as the sense of satisfaction, accuracy, effectiveness where all these benefits are difficult to quantify, more accurate maintenance of data, better document control.
Improved accuracy where mobile computing can increase the accuracy of processes, which can allow precise identification of items and improve asset visibility and safety.
Improved productivity where it can be improved through enhanced worker efficiency, faster execution of procedures or process, increased knowledge sharing among colleagues and improved quality of decision making.
Cultural enhancement where employees are allowed to work wherever and whenever they chose by providing them the personalized tools for appropriate and customized information.
Business flexibility, users are able to react to a difficulty through multiple channels and application can be deployed according to an event.
Simplicity or ease of use. Particularly with the more basic educational applications, teachers do not have to spend a lot of time teaching students how to use the applications.
Cabling cost reduced meaning lower the cost
Less time spent
Real time data entry
Reduced intermediate support staff
Eliminate extra travel time
Ease of use
Table 2.2 Tangible and Intangible Benefits of mobile Computing
2.4.3 Information Accessibility
Mobile computing is able to improve information accessibility but the degree of improvement is directly dependent upon the mobile hardware and communication equipment is use, such a wireless local area network. A device which is connected to a high speed wireless network will have great information accessibility than those who are connected in a batch mode where it connects randomly throughout the day.
Hardware communication medium will have effect on the degree of information accessibility. Improved information accessibility will result in improvement of information flow from both to and from central fixed information system. Efficient and fast information retrieval can be done using mobile devices. Mobility provides the capability to make queries to central system to get the information needed to complete the job. Besides, mobile device are capable to transfer current operational information to central fixed system. It eliminates the time needed for a user or employee to travel physically to return to office at the end of the day and submit a report to the data entry personnel to enter information into the central information system. In comparison to devices such as facsimile, audio files, mobile computing significantly speeds information accessibility.
2.4.4 Information Quality
Information quality to two (2) aspects which are content dimension and form dimension. Content dimension refers to the accuracy, relevancy, completeness, conciseness, and scope of information quality. Information can be captured at its origin state upon creation using mobile computing. The main benefits of this data capture are that it can overcome data redundancy and the need to do task twice. User need not re-enter the data at a later time to the computer from origin paper copy. Their ability to captures complex and complete information quickly and increase accuracy.
Comparing the speed and amount of the information that can be processed by mobile devices, human input is much slower than mobile devices. Application for mobile devices can be designed with error checking routines to ensure the data captures is complete and contain no errors. Moreover, software for mobile computing can use context sensitive questions or words to raise necessary information without extra irrelevant information. Application can be used to request information from central fixed system, so that the mobile device only receives the desired information. These characteristic is the key to the improvement information quantity using mobile computing.
2.4.5 Operational Efficiency
Instead of having the users to travel to the computer, the mobility of mobile devices such as smart phone enables user to travel with it where they can access the information they want whenever and wherever they are. Mobile device enable computing power and information contained within the fixed information system to be structured around the optimum work flow of a mobile worker. Hence, this highlight that improved efiiciency includes time saving, cutting cycle times, reducing rework, improved accuracy, decrease time spent on complaints and reduce unnecessary travel.
2.4.6 Versatility of Mobile Computing
Mobile computing is the most versatile technology. It can be useful in reducing operational administrative staff, improving communication, improving customer service, reducing manufacturing costs and shortening task cycles.
Mobile devices can be used in both harsh outdoor environments as well as indoor office environments. It can be used while a user is sitting, standing, walking or even driving. It is so easy to use and it support important information such as, the medical, business, sales, administrative personnel can adopt this technology to enhance their field. The versatility of mobile computing extends its reach of organizational information. The usability of mobile devices will continue to grow over the coming years as the predicted production of mobile computing for the upcoming years.
During this literature review, some weakness and the drawbacks of Seoul Metro City, NYC and Shanghai Metro have been found. Therefore, enhance idea comes from the combination of the current features and some extra requirements that have been listed in the objectives. Based on the literature review that I had done, I can conclude that this literature review has helped me in the process of analyzing, designing, and developing the Kuala Lumpur Railway Transit Navigation.