Apps and tablets climb to new heights in the UAE

The Life: Some technology firms are harnessing popular electronic devices, and even software inspired by videogame graphics, to keep employees more engaged with on-the-job training and IT work.

A video game is displayed on Apple's  "iPad" , a new tablet computing device, after its launch event in San Francisco, California, January 27, 2010. REUTERS/Kimberly White (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCI TECH BUSINESS) *** Local Caption ***  SFO505_APPLE-_0127_11.JPG
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Once focused on creating the digital nuts and bolts of companies, technology firms are now turning to popular electronic devices and even videogaming features to help professionals.

Last month, Etihad Airways said it was adding an app to tablet computers to give its aircraft engineers "more efficient and effective training" via interactive manuals full of images, videos, cockpit voice recordings and incident reports.

Two hundred of the airline's engineers were included in a trial of the app with data on the Airbus A340, using Apple's iPad tablet. Since then, the airline has expanded its use of tablets in training.

The app was developed by SR Technics, a business under Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government.

For some, videogames are the most engaging form of media.

That is why Peter Job, the founder and chief executive of a business called Intergence, helped to create software management technology for IT experts that borrows a little from videogame graphics.

Intergence's software, known as Hyperglance, projects various data points that IT professionals need to see but makes the information appear like a virtualised spiderweb that flows around in space.

"This shows in a nice, simple way, where things are," says Mr Job, whose company has a regional office in Dubai.

Parts of the display can change colour, illustrating possible weak spots or security threats in a company's data network. Mr Job hopes eventually to make the software work through touch-screen technology.

"Like James Bond, you can start moving data around," he envisions. "We're also going to have a time-machine slider, so you can move things backwards and forwards, which is useful to see how things change and might change," Mr Job adds. "For a non-IT person it's not that exciting, but [it is] for an IT professional."