By Chuck Samples/KVOE News
Posted Aug. 23, 2013

Emporia State University is touting a new marketing campaign centered around students and new technology designed in-house.

"I Am A Hornet" uses new "augmented reality" technology which brings student testimonials to life and also connects students to personalized websites including information on tuition rates, classes and on-campus activities. On the ESU Buzz with President Dr. Michael Shonrock, marketing director Umair Abbasi said the process began in December, but nobody knew at the time where it would lead.

“It just came to us. We are all Hornets -- our faculty, our staff, our community and our alumni. How do we represent these Hornets? We decided not to do buildings or students walking to buildings. Let’s do the faces of students,” he said.

What transpired was the augmented reality technology. Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Jim Williams says this will help recruitment and retention efforts.

“It’s showcasing what we want to showcase in the personal connection the students make with the community, the university, the faculty, the staff and each other,” he said. “By bringing the technology to life, you get a feel for that. It becomes more realistic.”

How are students reacting?

“It is so cool,” senior communications major Rachel Marshall said.

The so-called "layar" app is now available for Android devices, iPhones and iPads. 

Abbasi says this could also bring campus and community together. Plans are in place so community residents can use their smart phones, point them at certain items on campus and get all kinds of ESU information.