Baltimore, MD, June 08, 2015 — — With more students applying to more colleges than ever before, college tours have become one of the most important factors in the college application process. SideGuide, a brand new iPhone app, allows users to explore various college campuses across the country, both on-campus or virtually. Using your phone’s GPS, SideGuide offers various university-created tour routes that provide automatic information based on your location including descriptions, pictures, panoramas, and even related topics (e.g information about housing at a dorm). SideGuide’s coolest feature though is “Spyglass”, a point-and-identify button allowing visitors to learn about a building by simply pointing their phone at it.
Created by a team of Johns Hopkins alumni, staff, and students, the idea was born out of necessity. SideGuide’s Chief Executive Officer, Ian Han, previously lead the Hopkins “Blue Key” tour guides and personally gave over 230 tours of the Hopkins campus. “There were always more people interested in tours than I could accommodate,” says Han, “I knew that we were missing a huge chunk of students that visited after hours or on weekends, let alone those who didn’t have the opportunity to visit.” Han, along with co-founders and fellow Hopkins-affiliates Neil O’ Donnell and Clayton Minicus, approached Johns Hopkins admissions even before they had a full idea. “We just asked (the admissions department) if they were interested in this and without any hesitation they said ‘Absolutely.’ They were a customer even before we had a product.” After speaking with upwards of 30 other colleges, Han realized this was a bigger problem nationwide, “I loved my college tour and it led me to pick a college I loved. SideGuide was made to help other students find that same passion.”
SideGuide is currently available for iOS devices on the app store and will be coming to the Google Play store by August. Currently, SideGuide offers tours of 20 top-tier schools including Harvard, Yale, Stanford and yes, Johns Hopkins.