NEW HIGH TECNOLOGY! Kalle Heiska science journalist
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Tampere Polytechnic has an smartphone technology development laboratory
The response of the Polytechnic to the enormous demand for demanding software expertise

Tampere Polytechnic (TAMK) has established a training and development centre for smartphone technology. This mobile technology laboratory will enable TAMK to respond to the yawning gap in the supply of experts in smartphone programming technology in the Tampere Region and indeed in Finland. Of the companies, Nokia was involved in the preparatory stages of the development laboratory. It is also something new that TEKES is funding the Polytechnic's applied mobile research, development and training work.

Managing Director Eero Tunkelo of Creative Intelligence Oy and lecturers Jari Mikkolainen and Tony Torp of Tampere Polytechnic were involved in the design of the recently established smartphone technology laboratory.
High resolution image (1200 Kb)
Photo: TAMK

Due to the achievements of Nokia and to several other mobile technology companies the hub of Finnish smartphone development is in the Tampere Region. In companies producing services in the region, however, there is a desperate shortage of programmers capable of producing smartphone services. In order to remedy this situation the TAMK mobile technology laboratory was recently established, where there are most of the devices and software needed to develop and test mobile services. In two years TAMK will recruit for the laboratory 20 engineering students on the point of doing their bachelor's theses for half a year to participate in company projects.

It is the companies in the Tampere Region who will benefit most from TAMK's new laboratory. They will be able to set up projects with TAMK to develop and test new mobile services in advance for smartphones due to be launched on the markets. The projects may include students' bachelor's theses, thereby improving the students' chances of getting jobs or setting up companies. The know-how generated on the projects will moreover remain with TAMK, which also has its own in-house funded research projects – on the first of these TAMK is researching the one-off presentation of video performances on smartphones. Units comparable to the TAMK laboratory were established simultaneously in the polytechnics at Espoo, Vantaa and Oulu.

The programming of the services to be offered on mobile devices like smartphones, for example, is extremely demanding. In addition to a mastery of the rudiments of information technology there is a need for special expertise; the software must be extremely reliable in spite of having a small screen and small memory capacity. Moreover, many types of smartphones demand great flexibility of the service software.

TAMK is focusing in its development and education work in the field of smartphones on the programming of devices with the so-called Symbian user system. Thus in autumn TAMK introduced a new training module in specialisation studies in mobile technology intended for those already at work. 20 students were recruited and teaching is set to last for one year.

TAMK is also strengthening its position internationally as a competitive centre of expertise in mobile technology by leading the EU-funded development project for the production of teaching material in mobile technology. Led by TAMK the project will ascertain what kind of programming education is being offered by the European higher education institutions and where. The aim is to create a body of public teaching material on mobile technology for the Internet. Those involved include higher education institutions in Latvia, the Czech Republic and Hungary and also the Tampere University of Technology.

Further information:

Tampere Polytechnic
Jari Mikkolainen, Lecturer
Tel. +358 20 714 7357
Tampere Polytechnic
Tony Torp, Lecturer
Tel. +358 20 714 7367
Creative Intelligence Oy
Eero Tunkelo, Managing Director
Tel. +358 50 329 9562

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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