The 9/11 Memorial: Past, Present, and Future is the title of an iPad app that will be coming to the App Store on September 1st. Just as the name suggests, it is a riveting look back at the history of the World Trade Center’s twin towers and at the plans for the memorial on the site where they once stood.
Although there are photos and video footage of the horrific events of 9/11, the focus of the app is really on the history of the towers (including some great background on how they were designed and built) and on the future of the memorial site.
It’s very interesting to see that this title is being released exclusively on the iPad. The reasons for that are outlined by the project’s creator, writer and director Steve Rosenbaum, in an article by The New York Observer:
Mr. Rosenbaum said he decided to make the material iPad-only because it was simply the best device on which to display it. “I wanted it to be more of an immersive experience,” he said. “The nature of the photographs are so powerful, so to render them in anything but full color seemed wrong to me. And I didn’t want it to be viewed on a phone. I wanted it to be big and glossy.”
Here’s some of the background on Rosenbaum and his involvement in chronicling 9/11 history:
A documentary film producer and web developer, Mr. Rosenbaum has been chronicling the goings on at Ground Zero since the day the Towers fell. Shortly after 9/11, he placed an ad in the Village Voice asking for photos and videos documenting the event. He eventually assembled a collection of some 500 hours of footage, which became the CameraPlanet archive. Some of the best material wound up in his 2002 documentary, 7 Days in September, which the Times called “almost unbearably powerful.”
I love Rosenbaum’s response when asked whether making this an iPad exclusive wasn’t too limiting, given the importance of this topic to so many Americans:
“The iPad is the single fastest selling consumer device in the history of consumer electronics,” he said. “There are 30 million now on the market. What’s more limited? A beautiful glossy photo book that sits in Barnes & Noble, or something that’s free and on a device that lots of people have?”
I’ve been fortunate enough to be given a pre-release copy of the app. I’ll do a proper review of it sometime soon, but the short story is that it’s an enthralling app with great photo and video galleries covering the past, present, and future of an important American landmark.
The great news is that it’s going to be free from September 1 when it is released in the App Store until September 12, when it will go to $9.95.