Seattleites impatient to see what the University of Washington’s new $110 million computer science building will look like can get a high-tech preview, thanks to Marc Kinsman of Mortenson Construction. He has developed an app that allows users to see the planned building through their smartphones, much like the popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go.
To see what UW has in store for the CSE2 facility, head over to the construction site and pull up the Mortenson AR/VR app. Point your device at signs posted along the fencing on Snohomish Lane and the building should come into focus. There is also an AR viewing area on the sixth-floor patio of the existing UW computer science building.
UW has been fundraising like crazy for the CSE2 building, in which a new generation of software engineers will be educated to potentially make products just like this one. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Zillow have donated millions to the project and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has pledged a $50 million endowment for the building.
The 135,000 square-foot building will double the capacity of the UW’s top-rated computer science and engineering program. CSE2 is expected to open in January 2019.
“Given the project’s two-year construction timeline, this immersive tool was developed to educate and engage the public, in lieu of the traditional methods like flyers, fencing or a website,” a spokesperson for Mortenson Construction said.
UW said the new facility couldn’t come sooner, as its existing computer science department is “bursting at the seems.” Right now, UW is only able to accommodate one-third of students who satisfy their prerequisites and apply for the major.
The Mortenson AR/VR app is available for free in the iTunes and Google Play stores.