Computer Hardware and Simulation Gaming for Aviation Safety Considered

Modern day computer hardware is getting quite robust, and there is about 10 times the computing power in a smart phone as was used to fly the first Space Shuttle, maybe more. Still, when it comes to operating today’s aircraft simulators the computer hardware is intense, and these simulators can cost a ton of money. Because they cost so much the time to use them becomes very valuable, therefore most airlines only use them as required to check out their pilots, or train them for certification on the next aircraft that pilot needs to fly so he or she can get their type rating and satisfactorily prove they are safe.

The other day, I was speaking with an expert in computer online gaming communities, Troy Laclaire, about the use of simulators in aviation, and how great these tools were for complying with safety standards and preventing mistakes in the real world, carrying real passengers, when it really mattered most. One question we pondered was should airline pilots, commercial pilots, charter pilots, and fractional jet pilots be required to fly with another pilot to an airport first prior to going there as the pilot in command for the first time.

If such an onerous rule were to be made by the FAA, what about simulators, couldn’t a pilot merely fly the last 5-10 minutes on approach and take-off to each airport that the airline generally went too? Maybe, but in the case of a charter jet, that might mean they’d spend 100s of hours in a simulator and that costs a lot of money right? Okay so is there a solution to all this? Troy has come up with one potential solution, so lets’ talk about this shall we. First, Troy notes:

The only problem with this is that simulators are not exactly cheap to run and each simulation takes a fair amount of time, and far as I understand simulators are mostly used to get pilots comfortable with flying a particular plane type. However, since the pilots are generally already familiar with flying their planes (at least I should hope so) and nearly everyone has computers these days, it is possible that you could have a DVD series created to cover the routes, based around actual flights, and then have the pilots use their computers to run these so that they can get some familiarity with the airports.

Now then, this is a good idea, and it makes sense, a perfect solution, plus it also stands to reason that a gaming expert would come up with this concept. Okay so, Troy also suggests that we “provide the pilots with a take home DVD, basic flight-sim gaming controls, and they can use these to get some muscle memory.” This too makes sense, keeping it simple, and perfect for a last-minute booking for a fractional jet, or charter flight, as the pilot can merely practice a couple of ILS approaches, missed approach, take-off, and navigating the taxi ways, etc.

Troy, being a computer hardware engineer, and quite the prudent safety advisor also states; “Alternatively, have a “pilots room” setup where a pilot can run through a video/basic simulator of a previous flight that has already flown that route, letting them get a rough idea of what to expect when going to an airport they are not yet familiar with.”

Okay so that’s pretty easy, it can be set up in the break room of the local Jet Center, or at an FBO etc. Perhaps, for $10-20 they can shoot a couple of landings at the desired future airport that they will be flying too? Perhaps, it might also be available to ALL general aviation pilots, the DVDs and a flight simulator room at the local FBO, etc. May as well keep the system busy and paying for itself, perhaps it might also spit out certificates of completion and aviation insurance companies may consider lowering rates too? Indeed, I hope you will consider all this and think on it.

How to Look for the Best Android Apps and Games

After purchasing a new Android device, whether it is a tablet or a smartphone, we then turn to the marketplace in search of the best Android games and apps. There are numerous on-line directories available that have very comprehensive lists, some better than others. Generally these lists are divided into sections, for instance, the most popular, the hottest, the top rated, plus there are also lots of reviews to browse through for the best Android games and the best Android apps.

For those who are after Android applications, there are screenshots and quite often short videos illustrating how these apps or games work. These can be found in the arcade and action section and if you are looking for the best Android apps, these can be used for productivity, communication or entertainment purposes. Many other categories are available, from where you can choose applications or games that fulfill your needs.

Of course there are large numbers of new games and apps coming out into the marketplace every day. Some of these are free and for some, there is a small charge. The best Android games or apps can be either, if a game or app is free it does not imply any lesser quality, in many instances the opposite can be true. Most of the free apps have ads displayed and are they are usually unobtrusive, but sometimes, ads can be really annoying by blocking important content from the game or because they are placed in a position where you can touch accidentally.

Almost every Android application list website lets you subscribe to the RSS feed to get the latest updates so you’ll be the first who knows when a new app is available. Each application has a detailed description, from ratings and comments to required system permissions, screenshots or a direct QR bar code or market link for direct downloading from your phone.

As well as finding internet reviews for the best games and apps, quite often we will find out about a game or an app from a friend or colleague. Personal recommendations or reviews are always highly influential. Different groups and ages of people will be interested in different things, but there are enough of the best games and apps out there, to meet everyone’s needs.

If one particular app or game does not suit or does not perform as expected, it’s a simple process, just like programs on a laptop, to delete the game or app from one’s device. Android OS is designed in such ways that require minimal resources on the device, so it is possible to have numerous games and apps running on the one device.

Android TV and Apps

Did you hear about the new Android TV? These televisions have caught the fancy of people and offers a new way to watch television. Be it playing games or browsing the net, an Android TV offers a lot.

However, Android apps haven’t been that easy to make. So, if you are looking forward for developers to make apps for Android TV as well, you need to consider certain aspects first.

Here is a look at the difficulties developers face when designing an Android TV box app.

Developers work hard, putting in lot of thoughts, time and energy into making a great product. However, many developers fail to take a few key steps that can help them create that magical app. It has to be remembered that almost everyone has a smartphone today. While there are millions of apps for the Android smart phones, apps which are specifically designed for playing with Android TVs are still not that high in number. Developers need to meet different challenges to design newer and better apps. Creating the right product and managing to get loyal customers requires a good strategy.

All about apps

The app icon and the user interface should be clean and be easy to use. Users begin to form opinions about the app once they download it. Developers should read the reports from users to find out the requirements.

Determination of the demographics

Developers get vast information about app users and usage from users. If you are thinking to create a new app, you need to think like a marketer and critically analyze the market to determine your target demographic. For instance, if your app is targeted at low-income people within a particular age group, why would you concentrate on building apps for iOS?

Of course, if you do that, you will spend more money and energy building apps for the wrong audience. Android TV apps in particular, need to be more appealing.

Investing on metrics that can be quantified

Most developers don’t understand how to make proper use of app usage data. As a developer, you ought to read usage of app data by users on a daily basis. Developers should also use reports which show how effective their ads are and how much they can possibly monetize it.

Network for discoverability

Networking with other app developers is a great way by which you can take your apps to even greater heights. Utilize social networks and also guest blog about your app in other app developers’ blogs. You can also simply attend seminars or webinars where app development is the topic. Building relationships in the right circles can offer results that you never anticipated.

Conclusion

Developers require extra effort and research to come out with something innovative. If they are developing an app for an Android TV, they need to first know the audience well to understand the needs and preferences. There are several ways of doing this. As a developer, the end product should actually be user friendly for the users.