Survey module in action. Image by Adela Sobotkova. CC-BY-SA 2020.


FAIMS project funded again!

Seven years later, it's time for an upgrade

We are happy to announce that the FAIMS project has won an ARDC (Australian Research Data Commons) Platforms grant to refactor the FAIMS Mobile platform with 2020 technology. FAIMS Mobile was conceived and built in 2013. Remember 2013? It was a hot, sunny summer in the lush and green UNSW campus, and mangoes tasted great in January, yet I hardly remember anything else besides the constant push to get a working alpha prototype out. Yes, it was a long time ago. In mobile computing world it is prehistory! While as archaeologists we have affinity with prehistory, IT colleagues say it’s time to rebuild and so we are happy we can.

What can you look forward to? An upgrade will allow us take advantage of recent improvements in mobile technology, which were not ready in 2012 when we first designed the platform. We hope to get better performance out of the new system. Also, we hope for a leaner development as after seven years of field experience we have a better idea of what people actually used in the field (as opposed to what they wished for). Our plans are to make FAIMS Mobile cross-platform so that you can use it not only on all your Androids, but also Ipads, laptops and any other device and operating system that can support a modern browser. Furthermore, we aim to hit the biggest painpoint of mobile data collection, the ability to design your forms without any programming. So yes, GUI or graphic user interface, where you can drag and drop little boxes representing different functionality and create a digital form on the fly, is on the development plan. Corona has thrown a spanner in the start of this new phase of FAIMS, but we’ll be back to you as soon as the situation is clear. And if you are interested and want to get involved, drop us a mail.

PS: For those who are currently using FAIMS 2.7, never fear. It is not going away. It is a robust, mature and stable platform, designed for offline use. If you have been happy with your modules so far, you are welcome to keep using them. I will surely stick to my old modules until FAIMS 3.0 is well-tested and ready to go.