New Horseshoe app will take you back to the past - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

University of South Carolina app "Ghosts of the Horseshoe" will tell the history of South Carolina

New Horseshoe app will take you back to the past

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There will soon be a new dimension to the University of South Carolina's Horseshoe, but you'll only be able to see it on an iPad. It's part of an app called "Ghosts of the Horseshoe", and it's designed to take you back in time.

"People should know what the history is, they should feel what the history is, and they should feel it as a human experience, not just a bunch of buildings," said Dr. Duncan Buell, one of the developers of the app.

Buell and Dr. Heidi Cooley are basing the app on a website that chronicles the history of the former South Carolina College, which is today's USC.

"The material on the website is static, it's robust, it's compelling, it's smart, but it doesn't move," said Cooley.

So the team developed an interactive history tour. As you walk the Horseshoe, GPS detects where you are pulls up historic information, interviews, or music.

Just holding your iPad's camera up to certain landmarks brings up information.

"It's an opportunity to meet history, to interact with it, to meet historical figures and imagine how they'd react to us," said Buell.

Buell hopes the app will open some eyes to history some don't realize they pass every day.

"This is the kind of empathy I want people to have," said Buell. "This is a beautiful place, but it was built at substantial human cost."

The app isn't quite ready for you yet, but the developers hope to have a version ready to go by Black History Month in February.

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