Augmented reality on nature trails in Tahko

Kuopio-Tahko Marketing project, 2019, Kuopio-Tahko Marketing Oy

The goal of the project was to develop a service concept that makes use of augmented reality and stories for the nature trails in the Kuopio–Tahko area (e.g. hiking, canoeing, skiing and cycling). The Huutavanholma hiking trail in the Tahko area was selected as the route. The assignment was carried out in cooperation with the Blue project, which aims to make the Finnish tourism industry a pioneer in the deployment and development of AR/VR apps.

Melojia Tahkon alueen luontoreitillä
Corporate collaboration

Challenge: To implement a digital service concept that makes use of augmented reality and increases the reputation of the nature trails in the Tahko area.

Aiming for year-round use and added value for users

One of the challenges of Tahko, like other Finnish holiday resorts, is the seasonal nature of the business. Most of the visitors come in the autumn and early spring, when there may also be a lack of accommodation capacity. Increasing the number of visits the whole year round is one of the goals of the area, and the idea of an AR-guided route is a good match for this. The content for the Huutavanholma trail was created by making use of information received from users as well as service design methods. The AR app is based on a GPS signal, and the phone alerts users (by sound/vibration) whenever they arrive at a hotspot, i.e. a place where there is content in the app. In addition to route data, the hotspots offer other information of interest to users, which can be themed according to users’ wishes; for example, children’s themes, history and sports.

The app provides the users with additional information about the environment and services. It contributes to a sense of security, reduces the fear of getting lost and shows users where they are currently located on the map and in which direction they need to go. Surprising and unprecedented, the app’s hotspots will make the user smile. This results in a whole new hiking experience for users.

Result: A concept that can be copied to various trails, involving a digital app that utilises augmented reality. If desired, users of the app can constantly see the trail direction, profile and remaining distance. In addition, users may select a theme to enliven the journey; for example, the app can show animals typical to the area.

Read more about the LAB8 service design