Meet Up With Your Friends This Weekend, Courtesy Of The Arts Fest App
Since 1966, Arts Fest has brought life to the State College summer. For the last 7 years, the tradition has received a technological touch in the form of the Arts Festival app, designed to bring the experience and community together. The app has seen a number of upgrades and changes since its launch in 2008, and this year is no different.
While the app already offers a plethora of features, options added this year allow patrons to create their own events (think Frisbee on Old Main Lawn or a yoga session) within the program that others who use the app can see and attend. Also new to the app is a “wave” feature, similar to poking a friend on Facebook. When you “wave” at someone via the app, they get a text notification that you want to interact with them or meet up and possibly “take a ‘selfie,'” in the words of the ever-hip, ever-lively Penn State press release.
Even before the upgrade, the app already offered numerous features for festival goers. Smart phone aficionados and amateurs alike can peruse the app for all the information one could need at Arts Fest, including schedules of events such as musical and theatrical performances and locations (including maps) for the hundreds of artists who will be showing off their work throughout the weekend.
The app uses a Bluetooth technology that allows the location of your device to be picked up, fostering the upgraded, location-based features. In addition to interaction between festival attendees, this location-based service will also give app users the opportunity to see what events and artists are near their current location, thanks to the Bluetooth connection. This feature gives users an option to “check-in” and see other app users in their vicinity.
“This is a simple and easy way to start conversations or interact with others, which could enhance a user’s festival experience,” said Sooyeon Lee, a doctorate student and project member.
If you’re an iPhone or Android user, you can download the app to make your experience at Arts Fest a unique and more personable one. The app was created and is maintained by Penn State’s College of IST alongside its Center for Human-Computer Interaction and is available for free.