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Thu July 18, 2013
Noel Hunter: A Triad Man with an "App"titude for Educational Apps
You may have seen his apps in the Top 25 list in the app store, or maybe a child close to you uses one. It’s possible that childrens app for your smartphone was developed right here in the Triad. Radio camper Sophia Lyons talks with a local programmer about his educational apps, his jobs, and his inspiration.
Sophia: I met Noel Hunter, Piedmont- based IT consultant on the quad at Wake Forest University, on a wooden bench in front of Wake Chapel while the sun beat down. He arrived in a short- sleeved black button- down, and dress pants, his dark hair cropped short. Hunter has worked for companies that create apps and ebooks for use on iOS and Android based devices. I wondered about the types of apps he's worked on.
We do mostly apps for young children, ages 3-8. We’ve done about 30 of those for IoS Iphone and android devices, and we’ve done a few contract apps for businesses.
Writing graphics, music and interactive features, then testing an app is a recipe for long workdays filled with complications. Hunter doesn't see app- building this way. To him, app- building overlaps a bit with filmmaking.
There’s always a story, sound, music, effects and a narrative. So it overlaps with the arts and the technical skills of production.
Developing apps for children is much more difficult, because young children have much shorter attention spans; therefore keeping them entertained is easier said than done, according to Hunter. So why write apps directed towards them? A different kind of inspiration, he says.
My friend Libba Evans, who also went to Wake Forest, had just retired from the state government down in Raleigh and she came back to Winston-Salem. On an airplane flight she had seen a child being entertained by their grandparent’s iPhone. She had the idea about five years ago that she wanted to start a company doing apps for children. She approached me because we had worked together in the past, and that’s what gave me the idea.
Mr. Hunter's past jobs stretch out of building apps for children. He has also written apps for colleges and universities, coded websites, written firewalls, networks and custom web applications.
For WFDD radio camp, I'm Sophia Lyons.