Movie Monday: Wall-E’s Lessons for Business Technology

By katie simpson on February 3, 2014

WALL-E, released in 2008, charmed both parents and children alike. A small hapless robot, WALL-E, chases after his love, EVE, through the stars. While a delightful story, this futuristic tale reveals more about what we can do today.

1) Smartphones and EVE.

While we don’t have EVEs roaming Earth alone gathering data, our technology is expanding to rapidly collect data. Rovers land on Mars and travel the galaxy, gathering information about the universe.

EVEOur technology already exlporing the universe beyond us (source)

But right in front of you are smaller devices capable of gathering data from the world around us. Your phone or tablet can’t scan for life, but it can capture images abd location, and create calculations. These consumer technologies can enhance your business.

For example, GPS capture of your deliveries can give you a better understanding of your routes. Maybe you will see redundant routes, or areas you aren’t reaching well. Or maybe you’re a handyman. You can provide photos, and easy to read text  to better inform your customers. Your work may not be finding signs of life, but smartphones and tablets can help you gain better insight for your business. 

2) Get Information: Real Time

WALL-E spends days, if not weeks caring for EVE in her deactivated state. He protects from the elements, and watches his favorite movie with her. He doesn’t realize that she’s waiting to be picked up and taken back to the main ship. From a data perspective, this is a slow process to transmit information (the plant) back to the home office (the ship).


WALL-E takes care of EVE for days before she’s even picked up, a slow process for collecting data (source)

While WALL-E’s future hasn’t figured out real time data, it is available now. Smartphones, mobile apps, and the internet combine to give you instant access to data. With mobile apps, a field worker submits a form on their mobile device and the information is immediately sent to the cloud. Your office can access it as soon as it’s done from the cloud. Don’t wait hours or days for your worker to come back, work with your data real time.

For businesses, real time data means you are less likely to lose data from coffee spills, slipping behind your car seat, or a piece of paper accidentally landing in the trash. You also don’t have the possibility of transcription error from paper to your database.

Also, think about EVE’s journey. It was both costly  and long: it took days to go to and from Earth. While on a smaller scale, many field workers have to travel from office to field multiple times a day. These trips cost your business time and money. With mobile apps, the data can be transmitted without those trips. How much will you save you on gas alone? Add on the extra jobs your workers can do, and you’ll see even more money coming in.

3) The Crucial Human Touch

WALL-E ends with the high speed chase of a plant between robots and humans(along with WALL-E and EVE). If the humans hadn’t won back control of the ship, they would have spent forever roaming the universe in a ship. A pleasurable existence, but one without meaning. Humans need meaning.


Don’t let the ship take over (source).

Mobile apps, like GoCanvas, have in no way a form of consciousness (as a fan of Battlestar Galactica this fact helps me sleep at night). At the end of the day, they help you collect data. But you are the decision maker, you are the captain of your ship.

But every captain could use a hand here or there. Mobile apps will streamline your data collection and allow you better insight into your business. Through freeing your time and money, you can make better and bigger decisions for your company.