Students to receive lecture notes on their mobiles

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STUDENTS at a Scottish university are to have their lecture notes sent to their mobile phones in a pioneering bid to replace paper handouts in classes.

Dr Ayse Goker, from the school of computing at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, is planning to run a trial of the system in her lectures next year.

The system, called AmbieSense, uses hi-tech chips in lecture rooms that are capable of beaming information to mobile phones nearby.

If successful, the project could spell the end of the traditional image of students moving between lectures weighed down with piles of paper notes. Instead students will be able to download handouts, timetables and other work on to their phones.

Goker said: "The system gives people a way of interacting with their environment and obtaining information that might be useful in that situation.

"Most people have smart mobile phones with large memories now and it has increased what we are able to do.

"We have already used it during the university open days so visitors can obtain information about the areas they are in and browse it on their phone like a website."

She added: "In an education context, it could be useful to give people timetables and lecture notes.

"I am hoping to demonstrate the system in some of my own lectures."

AmbieSense was developed in a Europe-wide project to provide intelligent interactive tools in different environments.

The system has already been piloted in Seville and Oslo Airport to give useful information to tourists. The AmbieSense chips were able to beam pages from the Lonely Planet guide to people as they visited key tourist spots.

Goker has now been given a grant by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to develop the system further with a collection of travel, shopping and cinema guides and 'what's on' information.

She claims it could also have uses in hospitals, schools and shopping centres.

Anne Fraser, research awards manager at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, said: "Making use of existing mobile phone hardware, it is the search engine and software that are the innovative concepts behind this."