BUS journeys are set to get a lot more interesting thanks to a new app that promises to bring the route to life.
Campus Trails is a free app for smart phones released by the University of Sunderland for students, residents and visitors.
Mobile mapping technology will provide commuters travelling between the city and the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s with a digital presentation of the city’s past, present and future, relating to the things they can see out of the window.
Users will also be able to interact with the content by sharing points of interest through social media and joining in with conversations about the things the bus passes each day.
Created by the art practice of renowned contemporary artist Dr Tim Brennan as part of a civic arts partnership project with Nexus and Sunderland City Council, Campus Trails aims to celebrate Sunderland’s distinctiveness and highlight the university’s role within the city’s history and culture.
The app’s content will continue to be updated as the landscape changes and new cultural events are added to the city’s calendar.
Dr Brennan said: “Campus Trails represent a weightless, innovative approach to showcasing the city’s sense of place and its creative and entrepreneurial future, present and past, while on the move through the streets via your mobile phone, tablet or PC.
“We have chosen the 700 Sunderland Connect bus route as it’s a fantastic starting point that connects the university’s two campuses in a physical way.”
Suzy O Hara, Digital Trails creative producer, added: “This will hopefully give something novel to Sunderland which is creatively driven and at the same time incredibly practical, getting you from A to B.
“The app offers a deeper understanding of what the city has to offer from arts, culture and history to shopping, business innovation and tourism.
“The app is free, it’s available 24 hours allowing you to access some very rich data, down to the opening hours of restaurants.
“It’s a whole new way of accessing information about the place you’re from, studying or visiting.”
Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This app uses the latest technology and is a fantastic example of the city’s burgeoning reputation as a leader in creative and software industries.
“We are proud that Sunderland is a university city and it is important that students, residents and visitors feel part of the city and make the most of their time in Sunderland.
“This app will hopefully help contribute towards that.”