The second and final day of the Media On The Move conference in Aalborg kicked off with an inspiring keynote talk by Aske Dam from IMA-Norway, who gave the audience a glimpse into the frantic Japanese world of data- and telecommunication; a somewhat futuristic look into what sort of development we will probably be seeing in the time that lies ahead.
Some of his main points included a discussion of QR-codes (barcodes) and QR-readers, which practically all Japanese phones have built-in. QR-codes are to be found everywhere over there, and public space is used for NFS interaction between the virtual and the physical in a much larger scale than what we see in Europe. Augmented reality is growing heavily, and an interesting idea to emphasize is how tv-broadcasters and other content publishers are considering segmenting their content into much smaller units, ie. customizing programming and communication services to distinguish between city streets and thereby creating and revitalizing new public/communal communication spheres. Mobile broadband speed is also becoming extraordinarily faster in Japan. Next technology is called TransferJet and reaches almost 500 Mbit/s.
Next we attended the conference’s ‘Digital mediation in public space’-stream, which had some really interesting talks lined up:
First up was Ole Bøndergaard from Destination Ringkøbing Fjord, a tourist initiative rooted in Ringkøbing Tourist Office. He talked about how the needs and desires of tourists have changed substantially in recent years. Tourism today is much more real-time based, and tourists expects to have information available where they are – and “when” they are. That is, immediately.
In order to meet this demand, and rather than try to make offices by every attraction in their region, Destination Ringkøbing Fjord have started using technology to meet tourists virtually. In practice, their initiative is titled D.I.T. (Abbr. Det Interaktive Turistbureau, Danish for ‘The Interactive Tourist Agency).
Interactive terminals are installed throughout their region to offer tourists a portal with personal service available, similar to that they would find in a tourist office (tourists can also get the same service through their hand sets). This decentralization and virtualization of the service enables Destination Ringkøbing Fjord to give service to more consumers at the same time, as well as give service over long distance immediately (even, in time, at night, he said). It also makes it possible to give consumers personal service, customized to each invidual’s needs.
Read more about the the project here (in Danish).
Next on stage was Rikke Vium Madsen from Teater Katapult in Aarhus, who presented thoughts on interactive concepts and digital tales from the Limfjord (stream of water in northern Denmark).
One of their main concepts is called AudioMove, where the audience members are provided with a set of headphones and a receiver, and then move into a given setting (out in the nature) and/or scenography. The audio set is used to broadcast monologues, dialogue, music and sounds that add to the experience the person is seeing around them. Katapult have used this technology to create enhanced experiences in outdoor attractions such as viking castles, forests and other outdoor cultural heritage sites.
Additional interaction elements in this system includes QR-codes, which enable the audience member to interact and customize their own experience while using the AudioMove sets. They call this ‘interactive sound theater’.
One of their productions is titled ‘Tales From Northern Jutland’ in collaboration with VisitNordjylland, which is located in 5 areas of the region. Each one is setup with a local museum, and the idea is to be able to provide experiences to an audience all year round in any kind of weather, and to make visitors able to enjoy the cultural history of the area at any time they prefer.
Read more about Teater Katapult here.
Final speaker in this stream was Bendt Nielsen from UdINaturen/Søhøjlandet (OutIntoNature). He talked about their efforts to push data (maps, texts, illustrations, podcasts and vodcasts) to handsets in a way that seemed natural, logical and easy – as well as their way of adding geo-tags to that data, so that they could be used by consumers regardless of what activity they are engaging in (sailing, climbing the hills, trekking the trails etc.). An interesting point here was how he mentioned the difficulty of dealing with rights; for example clearing the rights to use maps in their applications as well as getting permission from land owners to let the public access designated areas.
The final part of the conference featured a session to focus on infotainment screens in the public sphere as an effort to inform, entertain, announce and help customers or the public in general. The session was made up of two parts; first half made up by short talks by Nico Colijn (Mermaid) + Birger Kofoed (the PR group for Rønne City), and the second part a discussion between Colijn and Kofoed and keynote speakers Jack Peterson from 3 Mobile and Aske Dam from IMA-Norway.
First up was Colijn who gave insight into Mermaid’s campaign to install screens in a large portion of DSB’s S-trains in Copenhagen, as well as about their collaboration with MidtTrafik. He talked about the huge benefits provided by new technologies; GPS, WIFI, touch screens and so on. Mermaid are customizing user experience in their products by using all of these – and more. Read more about the company and their projects here.
Next in line was Birger Kofoed from PR Gruppen Rønne (island of Bornholm), who summarized a series of experiences putting up info touch-screens all over the island. The screens have been placed in a wide variety of places, ie. on ferries, in the airport, in busses, on city squares, seaports attractions, festivals, town fairs etc. The screens act as platform for a portal that conveys both facts, citizen information and tourist services – but also commercial content and advertising. Either local data (only the city you’re in) or general data (from all over the island). Maps, events, news, banner ads and much more.
Another feature is an hourly ticker, where instant news and announcements can be pushed to all screens immediately to reach people in real-time (cancellations, instant offers or discounts etc.)
Read more about the project here.
The conference was concluded by the discussion between Colijn, Kofoed, Petersen and Dam, who discussed thoughts and key points from the conference in both local, national and international perspectives.
All in all a very interesting and inspiring conference. We’re looking forward to the next edition!