Senior invents college tour iPhone application

By Candice Navi

Ian Cinnamon ’10 has helped create an iPhone application that gives users virtual tours of colleges.

The application, uTourX, currently has tours of Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Yale.

For each college, iPhone owners can click on over 100 different points of interest and read information about each, written by college students.

In adddition, an “Augmented Reality,” feature allows students who physically visit the college campuses to point their iPhone’s camera at certain points of interest on a map of the college, which will prompt uTourX to show information about these locations.

Cinnamon helped create uTourX through the company oSnapplications, which he co-founded over the summer along with Yale sophomore Max Ulenhuth and and his brother Kasey Ulenhuth, a high school student in Kentucky.

Cinnamon said these tours allow prospective students to get an uncensored tour of the school.

Normal college tours, Cinnamon said, “sort of blend together.”

uTourX’s tours, Cinnamon said, will be different because the students who wrote the information “wrote what they wanted to hear when they were applying to those colleges.”

“The tours are written by students at the school so the information is current and up to date,” he said.

uTourX currently sells for $9.99, including the four tours.

Cinnamon said that oSnapplications plans to release a second version of uTourX by the end of this year, which would allow anyone to upload or purchase a tour of any college.

These additional tours would be priced based on the number of points of interests included, with oSnapplications and the tour’s creator sharing the profits.

Cinnamon said he expects these additional tours to cost between $1 and $5.

Cinnamon met Max Ulenhuth over the summer at MIT.

Cinnamon was participating in a science research program for high school students, a program that Ulenhuth attended two years ago.

Ulenhuth returned this year and befriended Cinnamon. After the program ended, Ulenhuth came up with the idea for uTourX and called Cinnamon to ask for help. Cinnamon and both Ulenhuths spent two months developing uTourX.

uTourX has been featured in the Yale Daily News.

Demo videos are available on YouTube, which explain how to use the “Augmented Reality” feature available as part of the application.

Along with demo videos are screenshots from the application and more detailed descriptions of the tours. As of Monday, uTourX had not been officially approved by Apple, but Cinnamon said he expected approval on Tuesday.

Besides Cinnamon’s most recent endeavor, he also madeseveral other iPhone applications, including Car Finder and Emergency Distress Beacon.

The Car Finder application allows users to locate his or her car by saving the position of the user while next to the car.

“Emergency Distress Beacon saved the lives of four people in Florida who were out in the Atlantic fishing when their radio died and their boat started taking in water,” Cinnamon said.