Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

iPad app gives new meaning to tablet art

A Northern Ireland company is one of the first local firms to launch an application for the innovative new iPad console.

University of Ulster spin-out company EyeSpyFX has created: ‘Ireland; Myths and Legends’, which has been submitted to Apple in Dublin.

The “culturally significant” and “aesthetically unique” application should be available worldwide by mid-June.

The application has been developed in close collaboration with one of Ireland’s most celebrated artists, Jim Fitzpatrick, who is internationally renowned for his colourful and iconic decorative Celtic artwork.

EyeSpyFx, a cutting edge software development company based in Derry, was established by University of Ulster academic Anthony Hutton in 2002, and initially was based in the business incubation centre at the Magee campus.

Recently, the company has expanded its services into the design and development of bespoke applications on varied projects and on multiple platforms, including Blackberry, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia, Android, and iPhone.

Mr Hutton said the collaboration with Jim Fitzpatrick came about as a result of a chance conversation at an international trade show in Barcelona in February this year.

“Our products were attracting a lot of interest from international buyers. They seemed surprised, not only that the company was based in Ireland, but also that it had no uniquely Irish content, so we decided we had to do something about that,” he said.

“We felt the iPad would be an ideal platform for putting Jim Fitzpatrick’s art in the hands of the user, to give a totally accessible, interactive, and unique viewing experience.

The artwork included in the App has been carefully selected to give the user a comprehensive body of work, that also shows the larger context behind each story.

Each image is accompanied by descriptive text written by the artist, giving detailed information about Celtic Mythology and Legend. ‘Ireland: Myths and Legends’, is the first in a series of portfolio Apps that EyeSpyFx is developing in collaboration with Fitzpatrick.