thinkCulture is a platform for improving the "experience" of a visitor in the field of cultural & natural heritage based on Innovative technology tools
thinkCulture is an Integrated platform for accessing “experiences” that contribute to enriching knowledge for active visitors, at cultural institutions & inaccessible areas of particular cultural and natural interest. Moreover, thinkCulture is a modern & innovative platform for improving the "experience" of the visitor in the field of cultural and natural heritage, before (time of preparation) or after (capturing experience) his visit. It helps all the responsible operators to replace old clunky audio guides with smart phones, by using apps as personal guides and unlock a world beyond the four walls of the cultural institute (museum, archaeological site, natural beauty site, caves etc).
The total solution consists of
1. web platform responsible for the centralized content management (photos, videos, texts), route planning, recording stops and exhibits, user management, statistics
2. mobile apps offer innovative functions which based on new technologies aim at providing visitor’s experience with tools (sub-modules) such as 360’ Spherical, Augmented Reality, Gamification, Story Telling «Culture-Outside-the-Classroom».

The beneficiaries are basically tourists and ordinary travelers, who can have access to heritage natural or cultural before, during or after their visit with one click on their smartphones. The basic idea belongs to Spiros Sirmakessis team (computer technology experts), and the implementation was accomplished by theirs own resources

Resources needed

- Web & Mobile App coding cost €20K (main development by our own resources).
- Natural/cultural paths & photo shooting first in Greece and maybe later in other countries cost €12K for the first 10 routes.
- Annual Services & Technical Support with new versions & technology evolution costs €6K

Evidence of success

We will lead the involved Cultural Organizations into new, innovative technologies with immediate benefits. The target audience is very big, while competition is limited.
The team has already agreed or done the following
- gamification app for tour in Archaeological Excavation which was visited in 2017 by 20 schools-550 children (Q1/2019)
- application for a periodical exhibition to one of the biggest Greek Museum (Q3/2019)
- application tour guide of "Heroes of Mesolongi Garden" (Q4 /2018)

Difficulties encountered

- eliminate the “No Visit Experience” for people with disabilities or places not open to public
-“no more the endless visits to cultural institutions, endless & boring touring hours around exhibits"
- lack of personalization on experiences / content based on user profile (adults/children)

Potential for learning or transfer

This GP performs a basis for the authorities regarding the importance of adopting disruptive technologies in the existing cultural assets for their promotion all over the world. Experts from the Region of Western Greece (RWG) have already been in depth informed about the application of thinkCulture, the used technology (AR) and the added value of its replication is other sites of cultural interest. This GP paved the way for new recommendations in the policy instruments focusing on resources needed for such initiatives, business cases for transfer, change management & communication techniques and measurement approaches. On May 2020, RWG launched a call for projects related to the protection & promotion of regional cultural heritage (archaeological sites, cultural routes, tangible & intangible heritage) as well as actions especially focused on places difficult to be accesses by people with mobility difficulties, where the concept of immersion (augmented reality) favors its application

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Project
Main institution
e-Business & UX Lab of the Computer & Informatics Engineering Department of the Western Greece University of Applied Sciences (TEI of Western Greece)
Location
Δυτική Ελλάδα, Greece (Ελλαδα)
Start Date
January 2018
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

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Good Practices being followed by

Elena Arvaniti

University of Patras