Walking around Venice to try the first augmented reality app for Google Glass dedicated to tourists
by Fabio Bozzato
Venice – Wearing glasses, activating Bluetooth from your mobile phone, pointing the viewer and starting the tour: the first app designed to discover a city of art and set up exclusively for Google Glass, which is expected to come out Next year.
Ok! Venice an idea of the Bolognese start-up Mubo Project and of the Milanese web company Vidiemme Consulting. An immersive experience and at the same time a delicate approach, calibrated for a city invaded by a crowd of tourists. In this case, instead, the proposal to get to know a corner of the lagoon city out of the flows and one of the most suggestive of the city. The target? An educated public in search of a sweet tourism.
We are in Cannaregio, behind the Ghetto. It starts from the Church of the Madonna of the Garden. On the Google Glass display, positioned and focused on the right eye, a target symbol appears. the first of six stages. It signals the church, perhaps the most fascinating of the many in the city. Short written, informal language.
A bird's eye map is displayed, designed ad hoc, with simple GPS navigation. One walks, observes the palaces, the canal, crosses a bridge, slips into a street. New stop. In Campo dei Mori three bas-reliefs: they were the Rioba brothers, Sandi and Afani merchants of sugars and spices.
The slides on the viewer are activated with voice commands, with a light rub or with a little touch on the rod. Here too, only one report: "We imagined it as an invitation", explains Irene Angelopulos, from Mubo, who worked on the concept and storytelling. "He doesn't want to invade you with information, he only asks you to pay attention to a detail or to enter a building ”.
And so we stop in front of the house of Tintoretto, the great Venetian painter. Further on the Squero dei Muti, boathouse and once a gondola factory. You turn the corner inside a calletta and the viewer marks a new stage. The lagoon opens, an expanse of moored boats and on the horizon Murano. Here the mythical company of art glass Seguso who wanted to stay inside the operation, which "Hypothesizes partnerships, including commercial ones, and opens questions on how and how much similar devices will be used for sponsors and advertisements", tells Fabio Salvalaggio of Vidiemme, who took care of all the technological part.
Back towards Madonna dell'Orto, in Fondamenta Gasparo Contadini, a last stop at another side of Tintoretto's palace, the large windows and the bas-relief with a camel.
"This app a sort of demo, an experiment on the potential with such a gadget, much simpler, more immersive and surprising than a tablet or any guide ", explains Mino Degli Atti of Mubo. Now the target is the glasses on the market, whose prices could fall by two thirds compared to the 1500 dollars of the current prototypes. And then the store will open, where a quantity of apps will be available. The rest will be done by tourists, goggles and pointed viewers, at first goffi and then gradually more and more casual.