Yale Student Immersive Media Club, or YSIM, launched a beta version of AREAS which is an augmented reality platform that enables users to explore the Yale Schwarzman Center in a virtual environment. The developers plan to release several episodes over the course of the spring term to enhance the user experience.
The augmented reality app will be available for both iOS and Android devices. AREAS will enable the Schwarzman Center to exhibit student-produced and student-led art post its newly renovated spaces digitally.
Xavier Ruiz ’22, a YSIM board member, said, “Our main goal was to create some way for people to still engage with the Yale art scene and generate excitement about the YSC opening, even if that couldn’t happen in person because of the pandemic.”
Former YSIM Co-president Monique Baltzer ’20 explained that AREAS takes users through a day at the Schwarzman Center and showcases situations that occur in various spaces at the institution at different times of the day.
“For example, for the first iteration of the app, the art performances take place in the dome room. In the morning, there’s a robotics presentation there; in the afternoon, a poetry reading; in the evening, a dance showing,” Baltzer stated.
The platform will also enable users to access information about the context and content of performances and artworks apart from taking them through several locations.
An enormous challenge faced by the team was developing the app remotely.
“None of us were on campus — or even in the same state,” Ruiz added. “So, we had to adjust from working in person together at the [Center for Collaborative Arts and Media] to using GitHub and Google Drive, as well as getting used to endless back-and-forth online communication among each other and with the YSC.”
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