ESA title


  • ACTIVITYDemonstration Project
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREAInfrastructure & Smart Cities, Media, Culture and Sport, Education & Training, Tourism

Objectives of the service

Image credit: INVENTA Consortium

Digital technologies are generating a new form of valorization and protection of cultural heritage, whose fruition is no longer tied to a territorial vision, but expands towards new unlimited horizons, free of space-time constraints. It is up to us now to make the most of this possibility.

The INVENTA Project aims to explore the potential of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies combined with the 5G network and space technology (in particular Satellite Navigation and Earth Observation), to bring innovation in the Cultural Heritage sector, in particular by strengthening the following aspects:

  • Fruition, enriching the visit experiences with innovative, three-dimensional, 360 ° immersive, interactive multimedia contents that can be downloaded anywhere on your mobile device;

  • Accessibility, building visits with interactive guides that can be used remotely, ad-hoc tailored also for the most fragile categories of people including the elderly, disabled people, ill people, hospital patients or people trapped in quarantine by the Covid-19 pandemic;

  • Sustainability, optimizing the management costs of cultural sites by complementing the physical infrastructures (signs, audio-diffusion systems, monitors, etc.) with AR-based digital components, customizable in real time on the basis of contingent information (crowds, queues, local events, promotions, etc.)

INVENTA will create a new way of living the cultural heritage world. The possibility of generating 3D digital content in any place (thanks to the 5G network) and of snapping it to a specific spatial reference context (thanks to space technologies) will produce a wide range of possibilities.

First of all, the tourist visits will be enriched by extremely engaging innovative experiences, based on augmented / virtual reality technologies and made available directly on people's mobile devices.

Secondly, the possibility of a 3D virtual logistics guide capable of retrieving spatial information in real time will significantly increase the economic sustainability of the management processes of cultural sites, reducing the costs of acquiring/installing/maintaining local devices (e.g. audio-guides) and local infrastructures (e.g. signs, monitors), digitally guiding visitors with dedicated real-time updates, announcements of events or time-limited promotions, while regulating their flows and mitigating overcrowding phenomena. Smart services such as free parking guidance will be fully managed through the INVENTA app using satellite technology and Augmented Reality, eliminating any cost for physical installations and of course the environmental footprint, and significantly reducing possible traffic congestion.

INVENTA will strengthen the possibility of accessing and experiencing cultural heritage even remotely, thus making cultural contexts more inclusive for all people, in particular for protected categories (disabled people, hospital patients, elderly, sick) and will make new business models available for museums, able to reach new groups of visitors, breaking down any geographical barrier.

These models will allow not only a more effective response from museums to the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will also be able to relaunch the role of artists, guides and professionals in cultural heritage sector who will transmit their knowledge by interpreting 3D digital avatars within virtual visiting or other multi-user cultural virtual experiences.

Users and their needs

Any stakeholder (museums, tourist agencies, municipalities, temporary exhibitions organizer, etc.) having interest in promoting any cultural element (sites, monuments, artworks, historical buildings, etc.) is a potential “Customer” of INVENTA Services.

Customers aims at offering more and more competitive visiting experiences, in particular improving the following key aspects: 

  • Fruition: enriching visiting experiences with innovative digital material support 

  • Accessibility: extending the possibility to access the cultural site to a greater and greater number of people 

  • Sustainability: optimizing the resources needed, and/or the related costs, to manage the cultural site 

With the term of “Users”, instead, we intend the people (individually, or in grouped clusters) who take benefit of the improved visiting experiences.

As “User” we see any individual who can physically access a cultural site and/or take advantage of any related digital content. Thus, Users can be distinguished into two main categories: “physical visitors” (Tourists, Citizens, etc.) and “remote visitors” (people who cannot physically reach the site, including protected categories such as disabled people, hospital patients, elderly, and people trapped at home by COVID-19 Outbreak). INVENTA considers not only individual users, but also users associated in groups, involving entities such as citizens associations, education institutions, or healthcare centers (who want to allow patients to remotely visit cultural heritage sites).

Service/ system concept

INVENTA service will be able to answer four use cases:

Image credit: INVENTA Consortium

Space Added Value

Image credit: INVENTA Consortium

The INVENTA App will download and display AR/VR based content based on the experience logic and UI.

Full integration of the available sensors will be provided by the app. Envisioned usage is the following: 

  • GNSS: the app will leverage localization data to 

    • notify the user of specific content available 

    • enable gamification features 

    • use AR to display POI (Point Of Interest) information 

    • enable usage high precision positioning on dual-frequency HW equipped devices 

  • camera, lidar, NFC, Bluetooth: to enable indoor positioning and image recognition of masterpieces / cultural assets 

  • IMU components: (such as gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer) to enable smoother AR behavior and gamification features 

  • 5G: faster connection speed will be leveraged to 

    • enable download and fruition of higher quality streaming content such as 360° visualizations of cultural assets  

    • enable interactive features for gamification and interaction with museum guides such as live QA 

The main space assets foreseen for integration include GNSS to provide high precision positioning capability.  Leveraging Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) functionality of the smartphones’ GNNS receiver, the App will detect proximity of the user with pre-configured Points Of Interest and trigger content presentation of various types (text, video, AR, VR). This will enable new visiting experiences in outdoor, gamification and new cultural discovery experiences for the end-users.

Earth Observation will in particular be used to get high resolution terrain images (e.g. vision of the monument/cultural site/area from the sky, by day and by night), to be stored in the server and transmitted together with the other data (AR/VR content & logistic information) to the users mobile devices, giving further option to enhance cultural heritage fruition (sky perspective of large monument/historical buildings, night sky visions, map of large outdoor areas, etc.). 

A LEO satellite-based internet connection coupled with a 5G campus device will be leveraged in a selected cultural heritage area currently not covered by 5G.  The INVENTA app will offer new content types with a higher level of detail that previously, within the constraints of LTE (4G) connectivity, could not have been offered.  The integrated approach proposed in INVENTA where the internet connection is obtained via LEO SatCom and offered in a local 5G cell, will make broadband connectivity available to visitors allowing the app to unleash all its potential by offering high-quality content to the end-users.

Current Status

Engagement of the case studies

In the INVENTA project proposal, four case studies were defined: Palazzo Madama + SC Neuroriabilitazione; Parco del Valentino and Borgo Medievale; Museo d’Arte Orientale (MAO); Palazzo Ducale.

During this first phase of INVENTA Demo project, other institutions showed a relevant interest towards INVENTA App and its services, applying to host further demonstrators. Balancing the project resource and the aim of INVENTA Consortium to maximize the project impact, two further case studies (beyond the already existing four) are being currently assessed: Polo del 900 and Reggia di Venaria.

Engagement of other potential customers

The selection of other potential customers was made on the basis of the contacts already consolidated in the context of INVENTA Phase I to which other stakeholders were added who in the meantime expressed their interest in the trial and subsequent acquisition of the application.

Current deliverables being consolidated:

  • Requirements Definition

  • System and Service Architecture 

  • Business Plan

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 10 July 2023