Touristic venues and retail sites increasingly need to extend their digital presence. This means keeping in mind that tourists inform themselves online and like to experience the highlights of the venues even before the potential visit. But digital means can also be used to provide visitors with a fun and educational experience on site. This can, for example, be achieved by showing them what the location looked like in different seasons or times.
In order to attract tourists and customers and create memorable experiences, venues should offer VR services on their websites and VR mobile apps for on-site tours. But such services are very complex and expensive to develop and maintain, so that smaller venue operators do not even consider creating own VR solutions.
Galileorama is a VR platform approach to experience touristic and retail venues both at home and on site, providing visitors with VR 360° panorama media. This system is easy to operate, as it builds upon a common smartphone app and a web-based backend.
Users and their needs
The platform approach of Galileorama fulfils the needs of the end users. They can easily experience locations in VR, while the services follow European data protection laws: Servers are located in Europe, map material is based on OpenStreetMap, and data is not sold for advertising purposes.
The UI of the app is intuitive since the right VR media can be triggered through the current position of the smartphone. The accuracy of positioning is thereby suitable for indoor and outdoor usage.
Furthermore, Galileorama is a common VR/map app for any venue. Through this approach, users do not need to download a new app for each venue.
Targeted users are tourists and venue visitors in Germany.
Service/ system concept
Galileorama offers visitors/customers VR 360° panorama media of touristic and retail venues. It is built upon the indoor navigation solution by contagt which consists of a mobile frontend, a web-backend with basic geo-fencing engine, and a REST API.
Galileorama includes the following new services:
- A geo-reference backend component, with which the VR media data is geo-tagged on a map and managed. The media content is linked with geo-coordinates (longitude, latitude) and floors (for indoor usage).
- A playback component for VR media to be integrated into the current web and mobile solutions. The component allows for viewing the VR content in an intuitive way controlled by sensor alignment data of the smartphone (Smartphone-based VR glasses).
A location trigger component for automatically offering VR content in certain locations, which is connected to the multi-data-fusion positioning algorithms for indoors/outdoors using Galileo, GPS, Bluetooth beacons, WiFi, and smartphone sensors.
Space Added Value
The algorithms of the contagt Positioning System (CPS) combine several technologies to provide positioning (e.g. QR/NFC markers, Bluetooth, sensor fusion, GPS etc.). Galileorama has the objective to enhance the satellite positioning algorithms with Galileo. The combination of exact Galileo-based positioning with location-triggered VR 360° panorama content is a promising approach to create new experiences for touristic and retail use cases.
The project has been successfully completed. We have developed the described features in a first demonstrator and have tested the solution together with two pilot partners (City of Reutlingen, Kauf Park Göttingen). Thereby, we could show that the location-triggering of 360° media works accurately with Galileo/GNSS (outdoor) and Bluetooth (indoor). We have collected the feedback from the potential target groups and, based on our learnings, created a business plan and technical architecture documentation for the full service envisioned.