Marshall Fredericks Museum to release app

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The Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum will soon have its own mobile application available for iOS and Android devices.

The idea was originally conceived by museum faculty members Marilyn Wheaton and Melissa Ford after the success of the student-led virtual reality museum, the “Moshereum,” for professor Mike Mosher of the art department. The app was designed and coded by SVSU students with supervision by associate professor of art and graphic design Blake Johnson and assistant professor of computer science George Corser.

“For quite some time now I have been actively looking for real-world computer programming projects for my students, especially projects that will help the overall university,” Corser said.

The purpose of the app will be to present information about exhibits in the gallery in detail as well as serve as a more user-friendly alternative to viewing the museum’s website material via a mobile device.

The museum’s goal is to allow for students and general audiences alike to access information about its exhibits more easily and efficiently.

“I think the driving force was the popularity of the mobile platform and the convenience of using an app instead of typing the Web address on a phone,” Corser said.

Apart from the standard information that can be found on the website, the app will also give people the opportunity to view a virtual tour of the exhibits in the gallery.

While the app in and of itself will not appear to be groundbreaking, what it represents as a student-led project is what makes the app particularly special for the art and computer science departments.

“The most important quality is that it was developed by SVSU students who collaborated from different departments: the museum, the art department and the computer science department,” Corser said.

Art student Ka Vang, supervised by Johnson, designed the app while recent computer science graduate Adam Pero, supervised by Corser, did all of the coding.

“While the technology may not be especially innovative, the following fact makes this project amazing: part-time, interdisciplinary, nonprofessional personnel were able to deliver a professional grade, multiplatform app for free in one summer,” Corser said.

The app has yet to be approved for both the Play Store and App Store but the team expects to be approved come next month. If the app is approved by this time, a November release is likely.