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Headmaster Axel Roest wins award during Museumnacht Hackathon

During the Museumnacht on November 7th, there was a hackathon where solutions were sought for mobility, navigation and crowd management. Amsterdam receives about 5.5 million tourists who visit cultural institutions and festivals. How could they find their way better in the maze of art and cultural institutions, through new digital technologies? Axel Roest, headmaster of The App Academy participated with a team and won the third prize: 1500 Euros.

The kick off of the hackathon, which lasted two weeks, was on Friday October 23rd at the Van Gogh Museum. There the teams had to present their ideas to a panel and were given a briefing on the latest APIs, SDKs, beacons, sensors and other available techniques. Then the teams were able to start working on their projects. During the Museumnacht on November 7th there was a hackathon organised at the Scheepsvaart Museum, followed by the awards’ announcements at Nemo.

Axel Roest (right) with his team. Axles also headmaster of The App Academy, the school voor app development in Amsterdam.

Mobile app for cultivation information
Axel Roest had participated in a hackathon for musuems before. He came up with the idea to use the database of the Europeana Foundation and continued working on it during the hackathon with the iPhone app Art Whisper. The European initiative Europeana attempts to put all artistic and cultural expressions in their database and make it accessible to a large audience. "Imagine standing in a long line in front of De Nachtwacht, how can you get the information on the plaque without having to wait?” says Axel Roest. Usually you can’t. Roest wants overcome this by building an app which communicates with a beacon, a kind of modern station via bluetooth which can talk to smartphones and tablets. "In a museum you come to look at art, I don’t think you should read written text on your phone. So I want to build an app that works with audio, as there are already lots of audio tours in museums. If we can put in the database of Europeana, I can invoke it in an app. "

App registers interest by movement
The idea is that once a visitor stands still the audio will start, because we can assume that someone sees something interesting and would like to know more. If the phone detects motion, the audio will stop automatically. Given that museums often have audio tours in several languages, it would be a nice application. "In case there is no professional voice audio available, we will let the phone read written texts aloud," said Axel Roest.

The first prize went to Virti-Q. This team devised an app that allows a user to register digitally for the queue at a museum. The second prize went to Cultour, an app that leads tourists in Amsterdam to places where artist have lived and worked. And the third prize was for The App Academy headmaster Axel Roest and his team with the Art Whisper app.

See below the video presentation of Art Whisper:

The App Academy is the Dutch coding academy offering bootcamp trainings in Amsterdam. We teach full-time iOS programming which covers all aspects of developing native mobile apps. Our bootcamps are intensive and prepare you to start working as an app developer at an agency, software company or on your own project.
During the bootcamp you will build mobile apps with fellow students. This will prepare you for a final graduation project and showcase on your app portfolio.

_code for it!

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