Crowd-funded, inexpensive visual thesaurus app to inspire love of words


Rockville MD, USA – A new visual thesaurus app for the Apple iPad will inspire people to discover and explore words, with an inexpensive or free app. The app developers are crowd-funding the project using KickStarter, and hope enough word lovers will back the project to make it a reality. The app will display a visual constellation of interlinked words, with synonyms, multiple definitions, antonyms, etymologies and related words.


“We want to inspire millions of people to explore the English language,” says team member Michael Douma from IDEA.org. “Since free apps are downloaded 10x-100x more than paid apps, and expensive apps even less, we’re hoping to get enough funding from the community so that we can set the app’s price to 99 cents, and often make it free.”

The KickStarter project has several reward levels to encourage financial backers, who will be credited within the app, have beta access, and receive postcards, cups and bottles, or posters as mementos.

One cool reward, for backers who are able to donate $50 or more, is to add their own definition to the app. “Backers will tell us the word they want, the additional definition they want added, and a secret code. Then, if any user enters the secret code, the definition is unlocked. For example, an extra definition for “president” might be, ‘Janet Appleseed was president of the United States from 2029-2033,'” says Douma.

As with all KickStarter projects, funding is all-or-nothing, so backers only pay for their pledge if the goal of $7500 is reached by the funding deadline of Friday, April 13. App development is projected to take two months, with the app released in July 2012.

The app will create word maps that blossom with related words, branching out to synonyms and definitions. The visual display will be based on SpicyNodes, which won the 2011 “Best Website for Teaching and Learning” award from American Association of School Librarians. WordNik will supply the definitions and synonyms.

An innovative word blend will connect two different word via multiple word paths. A great way to find a word that’s on the tip of your tongue.

Idea
KickStarter Project

The Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA) is a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing the public’s knowledge of science and culture. IDEA draws on some of the best practices of museums, publishers, software developers, and research labs to deliver a variety of programs via the web and mobile devices. Because mobile, multi-touch apps are a new frontier for enhancing scientific, artistic, and cultural literacy, IDEA researches, designs and builds new ways to put information at the public’s fingertips. IDEA’s most recent app, WikiNodes, displays encyclopedia articles from Wikipedia as a spiderweb of nodes, which users can tap though, discovering new information.

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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