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Blackboard Launches Augmented Reality for Mobile Campus Apps


Feature Brings Latest in Mobile Technology to the Student Experience

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing to bring the latest in mobile technology to the student experience, Blackboard Inc. announced today the addition of augmented reality (AR) to its leading Blackboard Mobile™ Central platform, currently used by hundreds of institutions worldwide. The company is also announcing the launch of Explorer for iPhone, a free standalone app that leverages the same interface to allow iPhone users anywhere to explore the world around them with augmented reality.

Blackboard Mobile's augmented reality interface leverages the iPhone's camera, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to let users explore and learn about places around them. With a tap, students can find the nearest computer labs, navigate a dormitory complex or even see a bus blocks away moving in real time through their device camera lens. By pointing their smartphone at a campus building, users can also find out its name, significance, hours of operations and historical information.

"Blackboard has taken a truly jaw-dropping technology and brought it to life in the education environment," said Barbara Spaeth-Baum, executive director of college relations and marketing at North Dakota State College of Science. "The primary goal of our marketing group is to recruit and retain students through integrated, engaging campaigns and the launch of AR with NDSCS Mobile, fits perfectly into that strategy. We are excited to partner with Blackboard to enhance our campus experience for new and current students through an innovative mobile initiative that is reflective of our college's brand and mission."

"Our focus at Blackboard Mobile has always been to use mobile devices to make the experience of interacting with one's university as delightful as possible," said Kayvon Beykpour, General Manager of Blackboard Mobile. "We saw augmented reality as an opportunity to take one of our most used features, Maps, and make it even more useful. These updates are just another example of our dedication to making it simple for institutions to deploy powerful and sophisticated mobile applications for their campuses, and to provide an awesome user experience for students and other university constituents."

AR is currently being used on the campuses of Central Washington University, Florida Atlantic University, Marshall University, North Dakota State College of Science, Northern Illinois University, and The University of Arizona.

The company also announced an update to Blackboard Mobile Central's Campus Tours experience, enabling users to listen to recorded audio while exploring the campus map, view tour routes in both map and list views, and use augmented reality to identify buildings along the way.

Blackboard Mobile Central provides a suite of features within a single custom, institution-branded application that includes 14 out-of the-box modules, plus the option to develop custom applications with the Blackboard Mobile SDK. Blackboard Mobile Central is available in native applications for iOS; Android™; BlackBerry; and HP webOS, and through a mobile web version supporting all web-enabled devices.

For more information about Blackboard Mobile Central, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Mobile/Products/Mobile-Central/Features.aspx or follow @Bb_Mobile on Twitter.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is the world's leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern-day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard.

Source: Blackboard Inc.

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