This website is an initiative of J-Lab.

Who's Blogging


Retha Hill is the Director of the New Media Innovation Lab and a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Hill joined the Cronkite faculty in the summer of 2007 after nearly eight years at BET.

Click for full bio.

Project Blog: Mobile Black History Project

Imagine pointing your mobile phone at a Washington, D.C., landmark and reading about its relevance in African-American history. Layering data over real life is at the center of the emerging field of augmented reality, and this mobile phone application will bring black history to the forefront, starting with historic sites in Washington, D.C. Retha Hill, a recent Knight News Challenge winner and director of the New Media Innovation Lab at Arizona State University, will run the project.

An Augmented-Reality App with Black History for 12 Cities

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Black History Mobile App had its fits and starts over the past 12 months, but the app formally launched in August 2011.  We now have content for 12 U.S. cities.


We contracted in last 2010 with a Boulder, Col., company to build the back end for the content management system and the front-end interface with should have been compatible with various augmented-reality browsers, especial Layar and Wikitude.

The company did complete the content management system to house the back end but, after several tries, was not able to build a stable interface with the Layar browser.



   • Posted by Retha Hill on 01/12 at 01:05 PM