WILDWEGO addresses the needs of 2 actors: Natural Parks and Visitors. Park Authorities seek to increase the attractiveness of their wilderness areas, to offer more activities in the park, to secure additional revenues and to foster greater public awareness for nature and biodiversity preservation. Park Visitors, the main end-users of WILDWEGO, are getting more environmental conscious and tech savvy, in particular the younger generations that are used to gaming and that eagerly seek mixed reality discovery experiences and engagement for nature conservation.
WILDWEGO provides a novel / enriched augmented reality travel gaming experience enabling park authorities to foster nature discovery & conservation by engaging the visitors into a serious game that enhance their flora & fauna preservation awareness and their collaboration for the preservation of wilderness biodiversity.
Users and their needs
The WILDWEGO Main Users are:
- National Parks
- Visitors and their Family & Friends
National Parksare mostly interested in the preservation and valorisation of the wilderness assets and in limiting the visitor’s footprint. As a result, they are interested in fostering “environmental friendly” activities in the park and in increasing the “environmental awareness and collaboration” of the visitors. The identified park needs are:
- Educating the visitors
- Making the visit to the park interesting
- Seeking the visitors’ collaboration in limiting their footprint
- Securing additional eco-tourism revenues
Visitors to National Parks and their Family & Friends are the main End-User / Consumer party, in particular (but not only) the younger generations which are fully at ease with the latest Gaming and Mobile Technologies. These generations are more environmental conscious and are not shy of experimenting and playing with technologies that integrate mixed reality and that enhance their travel experience. The identified Visitors needs are:
- Enhancing their wilderness experience with augmented reality
- Making use of their mobile devices to complement their travel experience
- Engaging into fun activities and sharing with family and friends at home
- Learning about the flora / fauna biodiversity and wildlife conservation
WILDWEGO targets first wilderness areas in Europe and Africa and will expand later in the Americas and Asia. Countries such as Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Italia, Portugal, Romania, Ukraine in Europe and South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique in Africa will be initially targeted.
Service/ system concept
The WILWEGO gaming application is composed of a Server connecting all the stakeholders, of a Serious Game Mobile APP enabling Visitors to play “On the Go” in the park; of a Web Application enabling Family & Friends to play from home together with the Visitor travelling in the park.
The use of space technology such as space navigation for the geo-localisation of virtual game assets and real field observations, as well as the use of space communication for field data exchange from remote areas, enable the visitors to play from the field, to share with family and friends and to report observations to the park’s authorities.
The WILDWEGO system is summarised and illustrated below:
Space Added Value
WILDWEGO will rely on three types of space assets as follows:
- Partial use of Satellite Earth Observation (EO) data by Environmental Agencies for Species Habitat Open Data.
- Use of Satellite Navigation (GNSS) for the geolocalisation of real and augmented reality flora / fauna species in their natural habitat and for the “on Go” gaming and sharing. As opposed to traditional means that simply display maps and associated information in textual and graphical forms, WILDWEGO will provide real-time accurate (a few meters) field geo-localisation of the game assets and players.
- User of Satellite Communication (SAT COM) for communicating “on the Go" in Natural Parks with remote users (family, friends, social contacts), in particular VSAT for connectivity at camps / shelters, and Satellite Global Communication for areas with no other coverage. As an enhanced capacity to existing standard Mobile Communication means (Wifi and 2G/3G/4G) WILDWEGO will also support VSAT+Wifi and Global Satellite Communication (through the use of Satellite Trackers), thus allowing visitors to be connected and play remotely while travelling in the park with the remote users.
The WILDWEGO Kick-start study has been achieved and finalised. The study has shown that WILDWEGO is conceptually, technically and commercially feasible, that it responds to the needs expressed by the participating wilderness organisation, parks and visitors, and that it benefits from the tools/services developed in an ESA Downstream Business Application Demo project called “SENSA” (more info at https://business.esa.int/projects/sensa) and the collaboration already established with parks in Africa and Europe.
WILDWEGO, by extending traditional visits to wilderness parks with augmented reality, increases the visitors’ environmental awareness and learning about the park’s flora and fauna, while having fun and enjoying themselves. The study has been carried out in close collaboration with the stakeholders. Questionnaires have been submitted and teleconferences organised with wilderness parks and associations and with visitors to collect the WILDWEGO requirements and conceive the environment. The collected requirements have shown the catalytic role to be played by wilderness organisations / associations in providing flora and fauna biodiversity conservation related data and in promoting WILDWEGO to their parks’ members network. WILDWEGO was received with enthusiasm by the contacted key players.