6 September 2013 11:38

A Lancaster University based businessman is helping to bring the former home of writer, artist and philosopher John Ruskin into the 21st century with a new mobile ‘app’.

Former Lancaster University student and technology entrepreneur Tarun Sainani, who runs WT InfoTech, from the university’s Lancaster Environment Centre, has developed a mobile application for Coniston museum ‘Brantwood’ bringing ‘Ruskin to Reality’.

The free “Augmented Reality” app called Brantwood helps to convey John Ruskin’s ideas in the form of an audio-visual guide inside and outside the house. By just pointing their iPhone or iPad to features within the museum, visitors can experience Ruskin’s work, ideas and quotes brought to life in a unique, fun and immersive way.

“The heritage of John Ruskin has had a profound influence on the thought process of humanity over many decades,” says Ruskin fan Tarun. “We are living in times where it is crucial to communicate his ideas and experiences to the digitally savvy younger generation. This was my motivation to create an ‘Augmented Reality’ experience at Brantwood and I am able to apply the theoretical knowledge which I gained while studying two interdisciplinary Masters degrees at Lancaster University.

Brantwood’s Director Howard Hull explains: “We want visitors to find the John Ruskin who speaks to them,” said Howard. “There is something of the treasure hunt about this system which excites enquiry. We also want mobile technology to help people to connect with things that are inspirational and life changing.

“Ruskin did the same in his day - as a young man he was at the forefront of photography. Brantwood’s app is a work in progress and we hope visitors will share their ideas about it and help us develop it.

Tarun and his team are now working with Brantwood to develop the app further.