NMI students create study app for Apple Vision Pro

A group photo of all members of the NMI capstone Tranquil Study team.
The Tranquil Study team: Gabriella Lewis, Dalena Yonas, Jack Forthman, Kelly Huang and Paige Searles. (Photos: Submitted)

NMI students create study app for Apple Vision Pro

April 03, 2024

The app, Tranquil Study, was one of the first 600 applications available on Apple Vision Pro’s app store on the day the product was released.

It was last summer, June 2023, when Jack Forthman first heard that Apple, his favorite tech company, was going to release Apple Vision Pro. He immediately sent a Slack message to Tyler Mazurek, the New Media Certificate faculty advisor, expressing his eagerness to work with the new product during his upcoming senior capstone project. 

This excitement fueled the creation of Tranquil Study, a distraction-free flashcard application created by a team of five New Media Certificate capstone students. On the day Apple Vision Pro was released, Tranquil Study was one of the first 600 applications available in the product’s store. 

“I have a slight obsession with Apple,” said Forthman, a senior computer science major who served as the app’s lead developer. “When I say slight, that is an understatement.”

“It was perfect timing,” added Gabriella Lewis, a senior marketing major who led the marketing efforts for the team, which also included advertising major Kelly Huang, advertising major Paige Searles and communications studies major Dalena Yonas. 

Built using SwiftUI, Apple’s developer framework, Tranquil Study is an immersive study app, empowering students to stay focused, no matter where they are physically located, in a world of never-ending notifications and outside distractions. 

The app offers users the ability to immerse themselves in one of four set virtual environments — a lecture hall, a sunset, outer space or the ocean — and flip through flashcards at will. Users also have the ability to select one of the environments that Apple provides, such as Yosemite National Park or White Sands National Park. 

“Tranquil Study is a way for students to free themselves from the many distractions of our world, using Apple Vision Pro and its immersive capabilities and spatial computing capabilities,” said Forthman. “We sought the opportunity to create something that we ourselves would want.”

Users can select their immersed environment for their study session.

The team members named the app Tranquil to emulate the intended feel while using it. Studying, according to the team members, isn’t meant to be stressful. Instead, learners should be able to feel calm, peaceful and free of distractions. 

“Providing amazing students like the Tranquil team with the opportunity not just to learn about but to actually build with the latest emerging technology is what the NMI is all about,” said John Weatherford, a senior lecturer and the instructor of the capstone course. “I couldn’t be prouder of or more excited for the team.”

The student team thanks Weatherford, Mazurek and Emuel Aldridge, a senior lecturer in the New Media Institute, for their support throughout the project.

“We had so much freedom to explore. I really like that about this certificate, and it excites me about our future careers,” said Lewis. “It’s so cool to see something come from nothing to a working application that many people can use and benefit from.”

In the future, the team hopes to create a sister application accessible to download on other Apple products that would allow users to input study information on their iPhone, iPad or MacBook, for example, and send it directly to Apple Vision Pro. 

Forthman and Lewis both wrote Medium articles further explaining Tranquil Study and the process behind its creation. Forthman’s is available here, and Lewis’ is available here

Author: Jackson Schroeder, Jackson.Schroeder@uga.edu