Are You Bringing Your iPhone into the Plant?

iPhones and iPod touch devices have moved well into the realm of mini computers, with applications to simplify, organize, and entertain. There's been a proliferation of apps for medical use--here's a list of the top 30 free medical apps, and here is a video of how doctors at Ohio State University are using iPhones in their day to day practices. 

If iPhones can have so many uses within hospitals, why not factories as well? (After all, handheld industrial devices for myriad purposes are cropping up.) Could your SOPs be iPhone accessible? Could your iPod touch measure temperature or vibration? Granted, you can't just go around your facility (GMP area or not) with your iPod in hand (can you?), and someone has to develop the apps before they can be used, and precision and accuracy are critical, but all we need is a little imagination. (As even the doctors will tell you, it's not brain surgery.)

There's an iPhone app called GasBuddy that lets you know the cheapest gas prices in your area. Could there be a similar app to let you know your suppliers' current solvent prices, and availability?

There's an app called ClearTune that allows you to tune your musical instruments. How about one that allows you to calibrate your industrial instruments?

Just brainstorming a bit here. Would love to hear your ideas, or maybe you've already figured out a way to make your work life better with your iPhone or iPod touch?

--Paul Thomas