Multimedia students in Belfast

A number of the University of Ulster’s new graduates in Interactive Multimedia Design, who received their awards today, are already making a global impact with their innovative ideas.

Ronan Murphy created Shutterclock ( which is based around a simple concept – showcasing photographs that were taken at exactly the same time all around the globe. Already it has seen participants from as far afield as Tokyo and Toronto.

Ronan says: “We want people to come together as a simple community divided only by distance, to globally capture their world at an organized time. In return we create galleries of images from all over the world, all taken at the same moment but from all the photographer’s differing points of view”.

Stephen McKechnie based his concept much closer to home. His Tiny Tours ( site is an innovative pixel view of Belfast. “Tourists” hop aboard a miniature black taxi to view sites like the Waterfront Hall, City Hall, Falls and Shankill Roads.

He explains: “Tiny Tours lets you experience on of the world’s most famous cities in an unique and innovative new way. Why not hop aboard a virtual taxi and see it for yourself”.

Paddy Donnelly wants to get people talking to each other. His Shake Hands with a Stranger ( community website is an interactive way of bringing together total strangers from around the world.

He says: “We want you to go out and say hello to the next stranger you see. It can be anywhere – the pub, at work, on the train, anywhere. Join us and upload your story to the website where you can share others’ stories and see how Shake Hands with a Stranger is changing the way that people look at the world.”

Dire warnings about global warming led David Battersby to create The Carbon Count (, a website packed with tips on saving energy and ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

David says: “The site features a Carbon Footprint Calculator which allows users to calculate the impact their energy use is having on the world and suggests ways to reduce their impact on global warming, with the added benefit of saving money”.

Christopher Murphy, subject director of the Interactive Media Design course, said it is an innovative programme that demands a special type of student.

“Graduates leave the course as one of a new breed of multimedia professionals, fluent in the design and production of complex interactive multimedia products. Highly specialized multimedia professionals, graduates have a wider appreciation of the relationship between computing and design and of the complex interplay between the technical, social, economic, psychological and aesthetic matters that underpin multimedia design and production.

“The course, which is shared between the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Engineering at UU, offers students the best of both worlds: an understanding of emerging technological developments coupled with an in-depth awareness of design.”