New app brings Brunei’s maritime past to life

National 2 minutes, 9 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SECONDARY school students can now learn about Brunei’s maritime past through a new tablet app that was launched yesterday.

French energy firm Total E&P Borneo BV General Manager Yves Grosjean said the app was launched to provide lower secondary students with an immersive learning experience and create opportunities for cross-disciplinary class activities.

Sponsored by French energy firm Total, The Brunei Shipwreck app is a re-edition of its book published in 2000.

The app and education pack promotes the accidental discovery of a 15th century shipwreck off the coast of Brunei 19 years ago.

Unlike the book version, the $31,000 app includes videos and quizzes, while the education pack includes the Brunei Shipwreck book, teacher’s resource manual, PDF version of the book, resource manual in a USB key and DVD that will be distributed to selected schools across the sultanate.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the app’s launch, Grosjean said the use of technology in converting the original printed material to an online interactive form ensures the information will be more widely available.

“It is a re-edition because we don’t want that story to be covered by dust somewhere, we want it to be alive for the people of Brunei,” he said.

The general manager hoped that by preserving and sharing historic knowledge on Brunei’s maritime with the youth, the link between discovering the glory of the past and bringing opportunities to the present generation will inspire them to become the difference that will extend Brunei’s significance in the world.

In his speech, Grosjean said then French oil company Elf Aquitaine, before it merged with Total, had discovered the remains of the merchant ship on the seabed while surveying the route of the future Maharaja Lela field gas export pipeline.

Local mobile software developer MeSixty developed the app that was designed to run on Google Playstore and Apple Store.

Liam Janin, chief executive officer of MeSixty, said it took him and his team about three months to complete the app.

“The main challenge was to turn a physical book into an interactive application.

“We updated all the illustrations and graphics, in the books there are small thumbnail photos, but in our app, you can enlarge all the photos and see them in the original details. We’ve also added some 3D animation,” he said.

Present to launch the app and education pack at the Maritime Museum was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof.

The Brunei Times