High school students considering an engineering degree at McMaster University have a new way to immerse themselves online in student life and their chosen profession.

McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering and Double Barrel Studios are proud to announce the launch of ExploreMcMaster.com – an interactive 360 degree panoramic microsite combining photography, video, music and soundscapes.

In concert with Helios Design Labs of Toronto, ExploreMcMaster.com represents an innovative initiative in the higher education market. The site goes far beyond just text, hyperlinks and images.  Through a series of 26 embedded video vignettes and mini-documentaries, ExploreMcMaster.com enables potential students to meet faculty members and student leaders, look into the university’s facilities, and get a feel for undergraduate life on campus.

“Truly a breakthrough in recruitment outreach, this new communication style allows McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering to speak to the next generation of engineers in an engaging interface they are comfortable with” says Lucy Sheung, Manager of Outreach and Enrolment.  “Engineering at McMaster constantly looks for new and modern ways to reach out to its audience.  We are confident in the professional knowledge and experience of Double Barrel, and decided to pioneer this unique online presentation.  Our prospective students have used computers all of their lives. So for them, the site functions as an online lab, furthering our tradition of experiential education.”

This technology required over-the-top creativity and collaboration from both the Double Barrel Studios team and the interdisciplinary studio Helios Design Labs of Toronto.  Inspired by the Gemini Award winning National Film Board of Canada web documentary, “Out My Window,” ExploreMcMaster.com similarly provides an immersive, 360 degree experience.  (https://interactive.nfb.ca/#/outmywindow)

Mike Robbins of Helios says, “We used a ‘whatever its takes to get it done’ approach that mixed panoramic photography, html5, javascript and …. gasp ….  flash!” The result is a consistent cross-platform experience for smart phones, tablets and desktop computers alike. “We feel the result points the way to the future of small but innovative studios having the tool-sets to create super-engaging content and story experiences for not only the arts but the corporate culture as well. The idea that business must be boring is tumbling fast!”  

Lee Hillman, Double Barrel’s Executive Producer, says integrating the new HTML5 standard took weeks of fine tuning.  “With every new technology, the learning curve is steep.  We’re fortunate to have a partner like McMaster who is willing to take risks and delve into the unknown to create something truly unique in student-recruitment campaigns. We’re excited about the possibilities of taking this interactive technology even further with an eye to building community and enhanced functionality within the microsite.”

Executive Director Roz Allen, who has produced interactive content for the Web almost since its invention, is excited about the artistic and creative possibilities. “Being able to stretch our storytelling capabilities into the interactive realm is a very exciting direction for hospitals, new building launches, tourist resorts… virtually any kind of business that wants their potential customers to have a ‘you are there’ experience.  We are just at the beginning of what’s possible.”

The McMaster site can be found here: www.exploremcmaster.com

Double Barrel Studios: dblbrldev.wpengine.com

For more information, contact:
Victoria Fenner
Business Development Director  vic@doublebarrelstudios.com 905-745-7462