Bringing Suomenlinna’s hidden stories to life by means of augmented reality
Governing Body of Suomenlinna project, 2019, Governing Body of Suomenlinna
Digitalisation is a megatrend in tourism. What happens when augmented reality and Finnish water tourism meet? BLUE, a key project carried out by Haaga-Helia and the Finnish Government, is about bringing together specialists in various fields.
Challenge: The challenge was the user-oriented development of a new digital tourism service concept based on Suomenlinna’s invisible elements and stories.
By utilising augmented reality, it is even possible to reveal the invisible. For example, information relating to the history of a place or the four different seasons can be made visible in real time so that tourists can experience it. 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. The cooperation also involved VTT’s specialists and Glopas.
Focus on technology or user orientation?
Even though technology plays a key role in the digital service concept, the main focus must be on user orientation. The service design team aims to create a service that provides genuine added value to the users, a service they want to use (desirable) and can easily understand. In accordance with the general goals of the service design team, the service must also be functional and feasible.
An audio guide combined with augmented reality
The service design resulted in the concept of an app that makes use of an audio guide and augmented reality. The app features an invisible character, Augustin Ehrensvärd, who tells hidden stories about Suomenlinna’s buildings and locations. The visitor must download the Glopas mobile app from the app store in advance. The Glopas audio guide app makes use of GPS technology, Google’s map template as well as image and audio files. The stories begin during the ferry ride and can be found at eight different meeting points along the way. An easy-to-use, hands-free mobile app, location-tagged content and the narrator character help visitors move around Suomenlinna on their own and gain experiences that they also want to tell others about. Indeed, the purpose of the concept is to provide visitors to Suomenlinna with an easier way to independently explore the fortress island with the help of an audio guide whose experiential contents deepen their experience of the island and its buildings.
Result: The concept of an app that makes use of an audio guide and augmented reality. The app features an invisible character, Augustin Ehrensvärd, who tells hidden stories about Suomenlinna’s buildings and locations.