Monday, January 24, 2011

FastMall App

I've been meaning to review this for a while, but it's taken me some time because I wanted to test it out in different cities and locations. FastMall is a free interactive navigation app, designed to be used by parents with strollers, people with wheelchairs or other physical disabilities, or anyone who's in a new mall and is feeling lost.

I actually talked to the creator of the app, Sam Feuer, who first thought of the app when in a strange mall and his wife desperately needed to find a washroom. Realizing that others could benefit from it, Feuer proceeded to develop this very nifty app.

After testing it out, I think that FastMall has great potential for Autistic adults by giving them a very reliable map with turn-by-turn instructions on how to get places.  After downloading a mall's map, I used the instructions to navigate the mall very well and was very impressed by how detailed the instructions and reference landmarks it gave. 

I did have some problems, mainly with learning how to operate the app, and then with finding maps in its database.  Both of these problems can be overcome with time, I think, by becoming familiar with the app, and by increasing the locations in the database. 

Overall, I'm very positive about this app, as it is seeking to expand not only for malls, but other locations such as hospitals, airports, convention centers and theme parks.  With a well-established database, I think that FastMall is very handy for adults to be more confident going to new locations, or assisting in familiar locations where sudden stress has caused a loss of navigational skills, or even just has forgotten the layout of places. 

I'm looking forward to FastMall's expansions.