12:57 PM


A future app will use augmented reality to engage people in the history of Hamilton thanks to Mohawk software development students and faculty.

The project is the latest for Mohawk students through collaborative innovation hub CityLAB. The CityLAB model is to take recommendations for projects from city staff who then work with teams of students from Mohawk, McMaster University and Redeemer College University on solutions.

The app concept is an interactive scavenger hunt using layers of digital storytelling to bring history to life.

History is not only found in books or museums, it‘s throughout the city, says Nancy Prochuk, Exhibit Program Coordinator with Hamilton Civic Museums. Sewer covers dating back to the 1800s tell the story of the waterworks of the city. Roads link back to walking routes of Indigenous peoples as they tracked animals.

“We are really dreaming big,“ said Prochuk. “We want people to look at the city we love and relate to it on a deeper level. Hamilton history is fascinating.“

Andrew Spearin, an HTML and CSS Instructor in Mohawk‘s Software Development program, says students will decide the platform to use, design the user experience and be part of matching the technology to the storytelling. They will also gain experience working with a client and users.

“I think the biggest value in this for students is working with very new technology in augmented reality. It‘s an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of mobile technology and really dive into the latest thing.“

The app is a great example of a CityLAB endeavour, says Patrick Byrne, CityLAB Project Manager.

“It‘s experimenting with new ideas and there‘s excitement around that. There is an opportunity to showcase something that can be a prototype for other applications.“

Under CityLAB, Mohawk students have also carried out a transportation assessment for future development at piers 7 and 8 and renovated CityHousing units.