The Explore 9/11 app that alum Eric St. Onge, worked on during his 2011 summer internship with Local Projects, received yet another accolade, this time at the Interaction Awards in the Engaging category right after winning the gold in the MUSE awards by the American Association of Museums.
The app was designed to collect and record oral histories from people across the world, on reactions during the time, the places they were in and what they felt. The augmented reality mode, overlays pictures taken on site, on the phone’s camera view, creating a jarring comparison of then and now. The oral histories are collected to be exhibited in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum set to open in 2012. The Jury panel commented on the unique interaction:
This well-curated and compelling app brings the 9/11 Museum outside, creating a museum experience where one might otherwise experience only crowded sidewalks and a construction zone. By capitalizing on the unique qualities of a mobile app—such as geolocation, multimedia playback, and augmented reality—the museum extends its programmatic mission and creates a compelling contextual experience for its audiences. History comes alive as users follow a walking tour with geo-aware content, listen to passionate first person accounts, and view a timeline of events illustrated by user-contributed photos. The “Explore 9/11” app represents an excellent model for the future of museum applications.
Eric worked on designing the interactions and developing the software for the app, which has now reached more than 500 thousand downloads since its release, a rarity for a museum app.