In my current role as Emerging Technologies Librarian for University of Oklahoma Libraries, I explore/develop/deploy new tech for use in research and instructional settings. Below are a few examples of what I mean. Please don't hesitate to reach out - via the Personal page - for more info. 

The Sparq labyrinth is an interactive meditation tool. With a touch-screen interface, the Sparq user selects from a slew of culturally significant labyrinth patterns and then engages (i.e. walks, performs yoga, or even dances) the projected pattern to attain a refreshing connection to the moment. This five-minute mindfulness technique requires no training, and has been linked to decreases in systolic blood-pressure and increased quality of life, which makes the Sparq the perfect wellness solution for your stressful workplace.

How can we be sure? Because the Sparq has been deployed across the nation in a diversity of different settings. Indeed, everyone from academic researchers (and stressed out students) - at the UMass Amherst, the University of Oklahoma, Concordia University, and Oklahoma State University -  to Art Outside festival goers; to Nebraskan wine tasters have experienced the benefits of this interactive mindfulness tool. 

The Sparq provides for a uniquely personal meditation experience. With touch-screen access to a variety of patterns - each representing a distinct cultural heritage - the Sparq users connect with history while reconnecting with themselves.

Unlike traditional labyrinth installations, the Sparq is mobile and (after the components have shipped) it can be set up in about an hour. This ease of installation, combined with the stunning beauty of the projected patterns, makes the Sparq a wellness solution suitable for nearly any workplace

The Sparq provides for a uniquely personal meditation experience. With touch-screen access to a variety of patterns - each representing a distinct cultural heritage - the Sparq users connect with history while reconnecting with themselves.

Ready for a Sparq? Contact me, and I'll make available tons more information about the thinking/motivation behind the Sparq, links to documented benefits, and instructions concerning how to set up the system at your institution. Then you can experience for yourself the myriad benefits of the Sparq meditation labyrinth.

 In Pima & Papago (native American) cultures the design below represents "Siuu-hu Ki" - "Elder Brother's House". Legend has it that, after exploiting the village, the mythical Elder Brother would flee, following an especially devious path back to his mountain lair so as to make pursuit impossible. Elder Brother's House is one of several culturally significant labyrinth patterns which lend a powerful gravity to the overall Sparq experience.

We are in a second proof-of-concept stage for a mobile app that guides users through large indoor while providing a plethora of location-based info and relevant push notifications (e.g. events, technology tutorials, etc.) along the way. If successful, the ongoing OU libraries-based pilot program will pave the way for a campus wide rollout of this cutting edge technology. The target date for the broader, tier two, launch is set to coincide with the Galileo’s World exhibition, set to debut in August of 2015. The tool itself provides:

  • Integration of Online/offline University of Oklahoma user experience by providing real-time, turn-by-turn navigation.
  • Delivery of hyper-local contents, corresponding to the users location with respect to campus resources both indoors and out.
  • Powerful analytics capabilities, which allow for the analysis of space/service/technology usage throughout navigable areas.
  • Various associated utilities to assist disabled users as well as aid in emergency situations.

People tend to refer to the central routing feature as “indoor GPS”. It’s accurate at up to a meter and it fulfills a goal we started focusing on early last year: simplify an extraordinarily complex physical environment.

Bizzell, after all, is huge – and filled with services (some of which I’m barely familiar with myself). What we didn’t want, then – and is something I've seen personally - is a senior level undergraduate proudly proclaiming that they are using our facilities for the first time.

Basically, our aim from the beginning was to put an end to the intimidation factor that new students might feel when visiting the library for the first time while at the same time making our diverse services visible to visitors using an increasingly prevalent piece of pocket-sized hardware, the Smartphone.