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  • Associate Professor Dian Tjondronegoro

Library secrets a swipe away

29 June 2012

Shhh. We're about to let you in on some secrets.

Associate Professor Dian Tjondronegoro from Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Science and Engineering Faculty has launched a new app to help young people learn secrets hidden within the walls of the State Library of Queensland (SLQ).

The app, Secret SLQ, is an interactive scavenger hunt incorporating camera and sound technology to help school-aged students explore the library. But if your mobile phone thinks you're being too noisy, you will have to start all over again.

Professor Tjondronegoro said the app, designed in collaboration with digital agency Reading Room, would help educate a generation of young people who may visit the library, but have no idea about the treasures it holds.

"The library holds so many artefacts, much like a museum," he said.

"This app will help them to learn that the library isn't just about books in a fun and interactive way."

The app, targeted at 8 to 12-year-olds, guides participants through the multi-levelled building searching for unique QR codes to unlock clues and progress them further up the leaders' board.

Professor Tjondronegoro said AR (Augmented Reality) tags would unlock augmented photos, including historic pictures of Brisbane city in the 19th century.

"We've been able to incorporate leading mobile technology as well as utilising gaming elements to improve interaction to make it an exciting app to use," he said.

"It uses the mobile device's camera and speakers to capture photos and play video as well as playing sound and even monitoring the noise the player makes while undertaking the hunt.

"Points are scored depending on the way you play. For example if you are too noisy the game shuts down and you have to start again. You are in the library after all."

Professor Tjondronegoro's team are also looking at expanding their successful Frogs Field Guide app, which was developed recently with the Australian Museum.

The app alerts users to different frogs living in their area and gives them hints on how to identify different species using keys such as how they sound and look.

Secret SLQ and Frogs Field Guide are both available from iTunes.

SLQ will have iPod touch available to loan to play the game.

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Media contact: Alita Pashley, QUT media officer, 07 3138 1841 or alita.pashley@qut.edu.au

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