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Students develop dynamic AR elements for Bremerhaven Guide

By Project TOURBO

"Our project is about bringing people to things, off the sofa and into Bremerhaven," explains Constantin van der Woude. If he and his fellow students from the "Seaside AR" project have their way, city tours through Bremerhaven will soon be even more varied: using augmented reality, a computer-based extension of perceived reality, they combine real places in Bremerhaven with additional information and collaborative game ideas. In their imagination, the "Seacoins", virtual coins won through skilful play, can then be exchanged for material things. Perhaps a ticket to a museum or a delicious fish sandwich. This would also benefit the city. The concept and prototype realisation were commissioned from the students by the city council of the seaside city and the city marketing department "Erlebnis Bremerhaven". The young game developers have now invited Corinna Brand, who is responsible for business, tourism and science in the city council, and Franziska Stenzel from Erlebnis Bremerhaven to the university for a trial run.

Points collected in the game could be exchanged for real rewards

Corinna Brand and Franziska Stenzel from the "Seaside AR" group listened with interest. The computer science and business informatics students proudly presented their app, which follows the gamification approach and rewards players for skilful moves. With their app, the students allow ships to float digitally on real water. The game "Battleship", which is based on the classic "sink ships" game, is about sinking the ships placed by other players using tactics and combination skills. Points are awarded in the form of "Seacoins". In the game "Cruising", the aim is also to collect coins by skilfully manoeuvring a virtual ship. Players in the city can then exchange these for real rewards in Bremerhaven. "We realised early on that users had to get something in return," says Tom Oltmanns, one of the twelve students in the Seaside AR group. After all, the app is designed to attract people to Bremerhaven and boost tourism through local fun.

"Win-win situation for Bremerhaven"

"It really knocked my socks off," said Franziska Stenzel from Erlebnis Bremerhaven, praising the students' finished products after she and Corinna Brand from the city council had tested the games. Being able to steer and view the realistic models of sailing ships in this way really impressed the clients. Corinna Brand described the project idea of being able to redeem coins won in the game for real products in real life as a "win-win situation" for the city. Both promised the students that they would examine the necessary steps to expand the "Bremerhaven Guide". Computer science and business informatics students have already contributed the necessary technical expertise for this modern city tour. "This extension offers absolute added value," said a delighted Franziska Stenzel. "The project is very mature," added Corinna Brand. "You get an A with an asterisk from us for the idea and development!" This attractive digital offer for tourism in the seaside city means that Bremerhaven remains competitive "and an attractive travel destination". Augmented reality also increases accessibility, for example by enabling people with disabilities to experience and participate virtually.


Pleasure at the long-standing collaboration between the university and the city

Professor Dr Thomas Umland, who accompanied the "Seaside AR" group, sees another important benefit for his students: "The assignment from the city council and Erlebnis Bremerhaven has enabled the students to implement a project with real practical relevance." Just like in their future workplace. With the students' concept and app, Magistrat and Erlebnis Bremerhaven could approach professional IT companies. "Now you know what's possible," says the professor. "I am very happy about the creative collaboration between the city and the students. It's great that we in Bremerhaven can work with so many bright young people at the university," summarised Corinna Brand.

Creative tourism