Nuit Blanche 2009 Goes High Tech
Event organizers and techno savvies have been working diligently behind the scenes to bring three main tech-related enhancements to Toronto's all-night contemporary art festival experience: a fast-loading mobile-friendly web site; an online custom itinerary builder; and comprehensive, GPS-enabled iPhone and Blackberry mobile applications that will allow festival-goers to get on-the-fly exhibit info galore and share their experiences in real time.
The first enhancement is simple and straightforward enough. Creating a stripped-down mobile-friendly version of the main festival web site is a basic concept but an excellent idea. Light on images with a larger, more legible font and simple navigation, the mobile site will allow people with the most basic of cell phones to have quick access to exhibit info online.
Perhaps more useful though, is the new online "My Night" personal Itinerary planner. Contemporary art lovers will be able to browse the online festival guide in advance, selecting exhibits of interest and creating a personalized, custom itinerary complete with maps, and descriptions. These itineraries can then be printed, or shared digitally via social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, and ShareThis.
Most impressive, however, is what they've done for the smartphone-inclined. Nuit Blanche planners have teamed up with mobile app developers Simply Good and POIfriend to provide both iPhone and Blackberry users with camera and GPS-enabled applications. Using "Night Navigator," mobile app users will be able to scan exhibit info from the printed guide, and from on-location posters at each exhibit on the night of Nuit Blanche. The app will also allow art-viewers to rate exhibits, vote for their favourites, get location-specific recommendations on exhibits, access photo collections and discussion forums, and more. And these features are all in addition to the app being chock-full of festival info including road closures and TTC services.
The iPhone app has been available since Wednesday of last week, and is nearly fully functional (some of the features will only be useful on the night of October 3rd), and the Blackberry app is available today.
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