Accessing programs about technology and engineering while you’re on the go just got easier thanks to IEEE.tv’s mobile Web site. Launched in October, the smartphone- and mobile device-friendly version of IEEE’s Internet-based TV network is more convenient for users of the iPhone, iTouch, and devices that run on the Android operating system.
“The impetus for the mobile site came from requests from members and a natural evolution of content-delivery platforms for IEEE.tv,” says Nick Lehotzky, IEEE’s member-benefits marketing manager for online products in Piscataway, N.J. “We have seen exciting growth since the launch, and traffic continues to grow weekly.”
Viewers had been able to access IEEE.tv’s site through their portable devices for some time; however, the mobile version of IEEE.tv has a simpler design than the full site. It’s now easier to load, view, and navigate on the small displays. And smartphone users can see screenshots and quick descriptions of videos without having to zoom in or wait for new pages to load.
You can access the new site by typing “ieeetv.ieee.org” in the device’s Web browser. Only iPhones and iTouches are supported now, Lehotzky says, but a version for other phones with Android 2.1 platforms and higher is scheduled to debut later this month.
Only the public content programs are available now; you still must go to the full site to view IEEE members-only content. There are more than 300 videos available on IEEE.tv mobile, however, covering IEEE conferences, segments about new technology, worldwide engineering initiatives, and more.
One of the most-viewed programs is “Smart Grids for Intelligent Energy Use”. The video features experts from Georgia Tech and General Electric discussing how the current U.S. power grid can be updated so that energy companies could monitor and manage individual electricity use in real time, and consumers could obtain specific information about how to reduce their energy costs.
Another frequently watched IEEE.tv mobile video, “Try Engineering Careers With Impact: Van Stam” tells the story of IEEE Member Gerjtan van Stam, a telecommunications engineer who established LinkNet, a nonprofit Internet cooperative, in Macha, a village in rural Zambia. Using seed money generated from the Malaria Institute at Macha, a partnership of the Zambian government, Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, and the nonprofit Macha Mission Hospital, and private donations, van Stam helped the village establish a 128-kilobyte-per-second Internet connection.
LinkNet now has more than 40 institutional subscribers—including companies, schools, hospitals, religious missions, and social organizations—that each pay US $30 per month so that any village resident can have access to the shared connection. Van Stam also has used the seed money from LinkNet to help the village, whose residents typically live on about $1 per day, build a community center, a library, an airport, a primary school, and a radio station, among other projects. The video is part of IEEE.tv’s Try Engineering series, which aims to attract students to the profession.
SOCIAL NETWORKS, TOO
IEEE.tv is also now available through social networking sites. The online TV network had nearly 2000 fans on Facebook as of December, for example, and users can view and share videos without leaving the site. People also can follow IEEE.tv on MySpace, Twitter, and 54 other sites, and subscribe to RSS feeds to keep track of new videos on the topics that interest them most.