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Isabelle Lopez et Olivia Wu
2022-12-02 | 16:05

MySmartJourney received the first Excellence Grant from the Quebec Ministry of Tourism and the MT Lab

In January 2022, in Quebec City, MySmartJourney received $100,000, the first Excellence Grant offered by the Mt Lab's Tourism Innovation Program.

 

This grant, made possible by the $10 million fund granted by the Ministry of Tourism, "aims to strengthen young innovative companies with high growth potential in tourism that have shown strong signs of success and to offer additional support to help them improve their product or service," said the Mt Lab.

 

At the heart of the tourism revival

Heavily impacted by the COVID pandemic, the tourism industry is going through a period of crisis that requires profound transformations. How to respect sanitary measures without degrading the visitor experience? How to deal with the shortage of manpower? How do you attract visitors and get the word out when you are a destination?

 

These constraints that are forcing the industry to reinvent itself, MySmartJourney saw them as an opportunity. The startup born in 2018 challenged itself to understand the new constraints of its industry to evolve its service offering and provide a unique combination: a solution that addresses more economic and health constraints while providing an enhanced experience for visitors.

 

What is MySmartJourney?

The MySmartJourney platform is a simple tool for delivering multimedia information in public places. It serves as an interactive signage, docking station, audio tour or relay to reservation systems. Visitors can instantly access the content with their cell phone. 

 

The platform is used by several clients such as the Quebec City airport, the Huron-Wendat museum or the Monville hotel to rethink and automate service processes while enriching the user experience by offering more simplicity and efficiency. 

 

Over 100 projects

The solution is also used in over 100 tourism projects to create compelling interactive multimedia experiences that surprise and engage visitors. At the heart of the platform is a library of features that creators can combine to design their tour scenarios: audio, video, augmented reality, quizzes, photobooths, etc. And all this with a contactless experience that respects health constraints. 

 

In a context of strong uncertainty, the MySmartJourney solution meets the industry's need to implement quick solutions, to experiment, to test things, to be able to easily improve or abandon them and this, at a lower cost. To adapt to a crisis, flexibility is a must. 

 

"We observe that the easier, more adaptable and flexible our technology is to use, the more our clients take it to innovate", says Isabelle Lopez, founder and president. 

 

What is MySmartJourney's next objective?

Develop the French market

"We have the ambition to become a global reference in interactive communication in public spaces," she says. The company proved to the jury its potential for growth and innovation, as well as its desire to grow further.

 

MySmartJourney began investing this major sum to develop the French market, which remains the world's leading tourist destination. "Since the beginning, we wanted to establish ourselves in France, especially since we already have two clients there, the Écomusée de Saint-Nazaire and the city of Le Mans. Now, we plan to open an office there and to seek a market share.

 

 

Innovate to improve

The Tourism Innovation Program is made possible by a $10 million fund from the Ministry of Tourism. As announced in May 2021, this new financial program "aims to democratize innovation for the entire tourism industry in Quebec and to accelerate the realization of structuring projects to enhance the quality of the offer of tourism businesses. 

 

 

The president of MySmartJourney, Isabelle Lopez, was delighted with this initiative, which came to support 18 other Quebec businesses at the beginning of 2022. "This fund provides a vital boost to growing companies that are agents of positive change; with this program, the Quebec government is sending a clear message about the importance it places on innovation at the heart of our industry," she concluded. 


What are the benefits of the excellence grant?

Thanks to the grant, MySmartJourney was able to conduct several commercial missions in France and Europe. Among the events in which the company was able to participate are the Hacking de l'Hôtel de Ville, IFTM Top Résa, PiXii in France and the Kikk festival in Belgium. 

 

The exchange also gave the company the opportunity to meet with players from tourist offices, museums and cultural organizations who are now familiar with MySmartJourney's value proposition. 

 

At the 24h of Le Mans, the technology was used to enhance the mythical race, offer more information on the program and popularize the technical terms. In La Rochelle, during the PiXii Festival in the spring, the solution was deployed to accompany visitors during their waiting time before participating in the experiences. 

 

And since July 2022, Destination Rennes has become a client of the company.

 

Thanks to this grant, Isabelle Lopez was able to validate the relevance and usefulness of the solution on the French market.

So much progress accomplished

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Exemple de "commères de tablette" à la boutique de la Courgerie
2022-12-02 | 16:01

Improving the customer experience in the food industry

We offer a recap of Sophie Ginoux's article, released on November 16, 2021 on the Panier bleu’s blog.

In recent years, consumers and food retailers have been looking for more transparency from producers. New issues are being put forward in the food chain sector, around product quality, the environment and production ethics.

New concerns about transparency

What are the existing controls in the food sector?

There are currently two controls on imported and made in Canada products.

Regulatory control

Regulatory control is in the form of a license, issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It applies to all importers, producers and processors in Canada. It not only ensures food safety, but also tracks harmful products and recalls them if necessary.

 

The normative control

The normative control is implemented in some large food banners: Costco, Metro, Loblaw. It is a certification given by an external auditor before the arrival in the big stores.

Two certifications are present in Canada:

  • Good Manufacturing Practice which is accessible to small food companies;
  • Global Food Initiative, which allows complete traceability of the product, its ingredients and its packaging, and thus helps reduce fraud.

Why do you want more transparency for food products?

 

There are currently no regulations that guarantee zero risk in food. The scandals of recent years prove this. In 2019, European frozen products were sold as being made with beef, when in fact it was horse meat. Similarly, beef has been sold as veal. Finally, in Quebec itself, the Buttergate scandal uncovered the use of palmitic acid in cow feed on 22% of Quebec dairy farms.

What is the current state of this transparency and traceability in the food sector?

 

In the current state, transparency and traceability in the food sector are minimal. The label and the packaging of the majority of the products give only succinct information, such as

  • the name of the product,
  • the name and address of the company that produced, processed or distributed it,
  • its net weight,
  • a list of ingredients,
  • a table of nutritional values,
  • the mention of allergens,
  • a production and expiration date,
  • sometimes a label - Product of Quebec or Ocean Wise

 

But this information does not allow us to know the country of origin of the product nor its different ingredients. It also does not provide information on how it was manufactured, where it was moved or if it was cut off from the cold chain during its transformation process.

 

The need for a new mode of communication

An opening towards transparency in the food industry

In response to this growing consumer demand, companies are beginning to open up to greater transparency; giving buyers more information about their products through websites or QR codes.

 

Information made available to consumers

In Canada, several producers have chosen to develop a website on which various information is provided.

  • The Fédération des producteurs d'œufs du Québec uses a coding system for eggs directly on the shell. This code, once entered on their website, allows to know the origin of the product. A similar system exists in France. A code, written directly on the shell, allows to know the origin of the egg and its farming method (organic, free-range, battery).
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  • The Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie attaches a medallion with a code to the lobsters, which makes it possible to find out who fished it, where, and even to have access to a video of the fisherman.
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A platform has also been developed to share information. Participating manufacturers can thus transmit more information on their products to Canadian consumers. Currently, nearly 4,000 products are listed on the platform, mainly health and beauty products. However, this is still a small number compared to the nearly 90,000 products listed in the United States.

Accessing product information with a QR code or NFC chip

Increasingly present in our daily lives, QR codes are emerging as a viable solution to the need for transparency. Unlike websites that require a search to find all the information you want, QR codes bring the consumer directly to the product page, without having to do any additional research.

. “Their uses] are multiple!" confirms Isabelle Lopez of MySmartJourney. They can build customer loyalty by directing them to ideas for uses or recipes that will encourage them to repurchase the product. They also lend themselves to cross-selling; for example, we will propose a pairing of cheese purchased with a beer. Finally, the content accessed can vary according to the season or the time of day, or the meals that are consumed. They can even be integrated into an advertising campaign conducted by the company on several media. These are great tools to enhance a brand, its practices and its values."

The use of the QR code in the food sector

Some producers and manufacturers have already started using QR codes to increase contact with their consumers.

La Courgerie case study

In Lanaudière, La Courgerie and its Jardiniers gourmands have chosen to use QR codes for several reasons: mediation, information on products in the store, promotion and accompaniment to the home, and training for employees.

Les Virées Gourmandes Case Study

Another organization, Les Virées Gourmandes de la Montérégie, offers year-round limited edition boxes that allow people to discover the region's producers. QR codes are added to a magazine inside the box, and allow to refer to the different products and producers. But the organization has chosen to go further by integrating QR codes directly on the products, as this offers an exceptional penetration rate compared to other means of communication.

 

Connected packaging to improve the customer experience in the food industry

QR codes can also inform the buyer about the packaging used and the concept of sustainability. Published on May 4, 2022 on the Ministry of Economy and Innovation website, the article introduces the notion of sustainable packaging for consumer goods. In an intention of sustainable development, the packaging should be thought in the idea of being recyclable, preferably without plastic and low producers of greenhouse gases. A QR code would explain to the consumer the company's choices on packaging, but also how to recycle them.

 

A relevant advertising tool

Secure and fast

In concrete terms, QR codes and NFC chips, combined with a powerful and versatile web platform, are reliable technologies to transmit information and reassure consumers. They are also a great training tool for employees, especially in a context of manpower shortage. They allow for the automation of certain consumer services, such as payment or returns. One service already offered in Asia is the ability for consumers to do their grocery shopping remotely while at work or on the go.

 

Personalization for customers

Using QR codes or NFC chips can also personalize the consumer experience. It is easy to integrate recipe ideas that encourage redemption, but also the discovery of products from partner producers.

The content accessed can also vary according to the season or time of day and offer a new experience to the customer at every moment. Offer contests and promotions at a specific time. But also integrate with advertising campaigns conducted by the company on several media.

What other tools are there to make products more transparent?

There are still many other tools to make the blockchain more transparent. Artificial intelligence can radically change the customer experience in stores, and automate certain processes. While in Europe, Blockchain technology consists in the decentralized and secured management of information, where each intermediary directly records the information related to its role.

 

Check out Isabelle Lopez's conference at the Living Lab

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Jeune femme scannant un panneau interactif en ville
2022-12-02 | 15:55

How to make a good digital consumer journey?

The accelerating digital transition in the tourism and cultural sector has opened the door to a whole new way of informing visitors in public places. Technology can offer a multitude of opportunities for you to reinvent the traditional guided tour to discover a city.

What is a digital tour?

A digital tour is a way to convey information about a site to visitors in a simple and effective way. With the help of videos and documents, a visitor can discover information about a site, the activities offered nearby and much more! This digital tool facilitates communication with different visitors and promotes your activities in an interactive way.

How to make a good digital tour for the general public?

If you intend to use a technological means to make your visitors discover a place in an interactive way, many possibilities are available to you. But attracting attention outside of a facility can be difficult! The question that arises is: How do you engage visitors online in an urban environment?

Focus on an accessible web application

A good web application can allow visitors to obtain information quickly and easily. For example, QR codes or NFC chips located in strategic places can help engage the user, who will have access to informative content instantly through his phone, without downloading an application.

Leave the choice to the user

Capturing the attention of visitors in a noisy, hectic and distracting environment like a city takes some work. Offering interactive content experiences that vary in length and allowing them to "skip parts" of the experience are a good way to keep participants engaged. Also, by imposing a pre-determined path, the visitor's interest in the content may fade. To stay in the mindset, freedom of movement is key. Here, the best thing is to disorganize the visit in order to better organize it.

 

Giving back control to the visitor during the digital journey

The Weasels of the Plateau

This is what MySmartJourney has done in the context of the project Les Fouines du Plateau, in collaboration with the Borough of Plateau Mont-Royal, an interactive walking tour for families.

The idea of this "disorganized" digital tour is to make visitors want to come back to the site and relive the experience from a different angle.

 

Aki project with the Sherbrooke History Museum

In the same vein, the Aki project, deployed by the Sherbrooke History Museum, offers Sherbrooke citizens and tourists the means to discover the history of the city's heritage buildings at their own pace. QR codes are installed on storefronts. They provide information, archival photos and quizzes along the streets.

Port of Québec Rally Project

Finally, the Port of Quebec invites walkers to participate in a historical rally. In the form of a stroll through the port, posters enriched with QR codes and NFC chips invite you to observe the places around you. A discovery without order, but a map has been integrated to the route for those who wish to do it all.

Offer light content

Here, the 90-second rule is the key! Grabbing the attention of passers-by and keeping it depends on the content offered. Starting with light, fun and dynamic information and then proposing more serious, but still interactive information can work in your favor. A technology that is heavy can quickly lose the user, and therefore, cause the abandonment of the experience. Given the traffic and urban distractions, a short, intense experience is better than a longer, less dynamic one.

 

Provide a concrete experience

According to Isabelle Lopez, CEO of MySmartJourney, "the screen should serve as a bounce-back point and an anchor to take one's gaze outside." With the Fouines du Plateau, the goal is to bring visitors to discover places and businesses in real time. The bounce-back effect is achieved through fairly direct content that appeals to the senses of visitors, in this case, families.

 

Thinking of creating a unique interactive tour in the city?

Using existing technology can be advantageous! In addition to saving time, using a proven tool will help you quickly identify your own needs. Among other things, this keeps the user active and engaged in the proposed experience. Also, bugs are rarer with existing platform models.

Creating an interactive walking tour in the city has never been easier!

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2022-11-01 | 17:43

Best poster practices

Whether it's attracting visitors to a historical site, guiding hikers along a walking trail or increasing sales at a commercial establishment, delivering rich and unique content is a key element in enhancing your organization's communication strategy.

To this end, the creation of an interactive poster based on technological innovation is advantageous, especially with the massive use of smart devices and the promotion of contactless communication due to Covid-19. 

The main components of a communicative and interactive poster

A communicative and interactive poster makes the experience tangible and serves as a physical point of interest. It contains the following elements:

Facilitate access to content:

  • A QR code: it is a 2-dimensional code that allows to encode data. It is often used to identify a product or navigate to a web page;

  • An NFC tag is an adhesive label containing a chip that allows a small amount of information to be exchanged with a wireless device. It is often used for contactless payments, but it also allows the exchange of information;

  • A short URL: this is a short web address that can be typed quickly on the device to access a web page. It is especially useful for devices that cannot read QR codes and NFC tags.

Draw visitors' attention to value-added information:

  • The logo: it is a key element to build the visual identity of your organization and distinguish yourself from your competitors.

  • Short textual content: a title and a short sentence should concisely describe the content to be visited that leads to a call to action.

  • Attractive design: colors and images should be in harmony with your organization's corporate identity. The design should be simple and personalized. Visual content is important to make users want to interact with your poster.

Triggers: What information do you need to give your designer?

The characteristics of QR codes

The codes provided are linked to your application within the MySmartJourney platform. Thanks to the data tracking system, you can collect statistics and distinguish visitors according to different triggers (NFC, QR code or short URL).

The QR codes on our platform are black and white to make them easier to read by mobile phones. It is also more reliable when the light intensity is low and when there are reflections. However, you can customize the color of the QR code as long as it is dark and without a gradient.

Opting for the classic version, without adding any visual motifs (integrated logo, foliage, flowers, etc.), is more practical, as the advanced versions may not be recognized by some devices.

Proper positioning of QR codes

  • In a museum context

Whether for large installations or for posters, the QR code must be large enough to be decoded by the mobile device. The minimum recommended size is 3 x 3 cm.

  • In a public context

When signs are scattered on a trail, in a park or in the city where there is more traffic, they should be larger. For example, the minimum recommended size of the QR code is 7 x 7 cm. Remember that the size of the code depends on the distance from which the visitor will scan it.

  • In a signaling context 

If you are displaying QR codes for signage or way finding, make sure your codes are at least a foot by a foot size so that users can scan them from a distance and access the information. 

How do museums attract visitors?

Properly integrate NFC tags

The NFC triggers have a diameter of 30 mm and are stuck on the front side, over the poster, with the design facing up. This position is more practical and aesthetic, as the signal is transmitted through the magnetic strip at the top of the pad. This allows the content to appear more quickly. The technological aspect of the tablet is attractive to visitors.

It is also recommended that NFC triggers be placed to the right of the posters, as low as possible. This is the most ergonomic location, since most users are right-handed. The size of the QR code is proportional to the size of the poster, while the size of the NFC chip is fixed. To draw attention to your tags in a large poster, it is important to add graphic elements that surround it, such as arrows.

Short URLs

Short URLs are mainly intended for users whose mobile phones cannot decode QR codes or NFC tags, such as some BlackBerry phones. The visitor can quickly note the short URL to access your content. Hence, the importance of including short URLs on your posters. With the MySmartJourney platform, there is a default link associated with the project's web page. It is also possible to get a custom link

This is the common form of a short URL: 

  • Here it is the default link: msj.world/enseigne/1
  • Here, it is a personalized link: enseigne.com/10

How does our digital route for tourist and cultural sites work?

Contents of a good poster: What information should you give to your project manager and designer?

Instruction phrases

Notice on your posters are essential to direct the user to your content. They must be adapted according to your audience (age category, interest, lifestyle, etc.).

Here are three versions that you can use as a basis for writing reliable instructions. You must carefully choose the sentences according to the theme and purpose of your poster. They should be reassuring and make it easy for your customers to use the technology.

Short version

The instructions can be simple and very short.

  • NFC: Activate NFC and bring the top of the phone close to the phone;
  • QR code: Point the phone camera at the QR code.

Intermediate version

Instructions can be simple and short.

  • NFC: Open the NFC, approach the top of the phone and open the link that appears.
  • QR code: Point the phone camera at the QR code and open the link that appears.

Long version

Some clients prefer to use a more detailed version to explain to their visitors how to use the technology, especially when no one is available to accompany them.

QR code:

  • Open your camera.
  • Look at the QR code.
  • Open the link at the top or bottom of the screen.

NFC:

  • Activate the NFC (contactless payment) function in your settings.
  • Move your phone towards the NFC tag without touching it and wait 2-3 seconds.
  • Open the link at the top or bottom of the screen.

Short URL: 

  • Enter the URL into the browser.

Writing the text

Textual content should be focused, concise and include a call to action. It should also be relevant to your project, your audience and your brand image to engage the reader in your content.

6 ways to make your destination stand out

Posters: What information do you need to give your printer?

You must provide your printer with certain information to ensure that the materials used are suitable for the triggers (QR code or NFC tag). It is not advisable to use metallic materials for posters if you place NFC triggers. This is because the NFC tag works by magnetic fields. Although it has a built-in anti-metal, metals can interfere with its operation and readability by mobile devices.

If you feel that an aluminum sign is essential or there is a metal structure near the sign, keep in mind that NFC detection will be slower. To reduce the effect of the metal structure, you can add material under the poster to cut the magnetic field or add rubber under the triggers to isolate them.

The choice of material covering the poster should be as matte as possible to minimize the effect of reflections that can interfere with the reading of QR codes. The less matte it is, the bigger the QR code should be. You can customize the colors of the NFC chip to match your organization's corporate identity by covering it with a self-adhesive vinyl film, for example. Make sure that the NFC chip remains clearly identifiable by the visitor.

Printing your posters: What information do you need to give to your project manager?

Here are some important guidelines for printing your posters.

  • You prepare the design with your graphic designer;
  • We provide you with QR codes and a recommendation document;
  • You choose your printer and have your posters printed;
  • We send you the NFC tags and the sticker by mail;  
  • You stick the tags on your posters yourself, making sure to assign the NFC tags to the corresponding posters;
  • You set up your posters.

It is recommended to use Scotch brand adhesive, extra strong double-sided, cross-shaped to stick your NFC pads.

Physical specifications and options

Poster printers advocate the use of certain materials, formats and other key characteristics of physical media.

Materials

  • The most popular choice: PVC foam (e.g. Cintra) in ⅛, 1/4 or 3/16 inch thickness.  This is the same material used for bus advertisement signs. It is lightweight, sturdy and not too expensive and can be put up indoors and outdoors;
  • Laminated paper/cardboard;
  • Aluminium/alupanel;

Support strips

To have completely ready-to-use posters, you can add a 3M strip service. They are available for indoor and outdoor use.

Formats

The most purchased are:

  • 3 x 7 in;
  • 9 x 12 in;
  • 11 x 17 in.

Setting up your posters: What information do you need to give to your project manager?

Be ergonomic

If you are using NFC triggers, remember to place the posters at arm's length from visitors. Consider all possible conditions and put yourself in your visitor's shoes. The recommended optimal height for placing the reading elements is between 3.5 feet and 5.5 feet. This height is suitable for visitors with reduced mobility and for children.

Last check

In order to present a good poster for your visitors, you should check these points before installation:

  • The height of the posters (not too high, not too low);
  • The operation of the links and the updating of the content;
  • The readability of the text;    
  • How media works (photos, videos and audio files).

Need to offer your visitors a digital experience?

Delivering informative, varied and up-to-date content to your customers is an important pillar in stimulating their engagement. MySmartJourney puts its technology to work for the development of your organization. 

Thanks to the ease of use of triggers, you can attract your visitors and direct them to your content in a fun and enjoyable way. A digital signage system also allows you to collect real-time statistics about your visitors' behaviour towards the products or services you offer.

Create a custom poster

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unusual art object in gallery
2022-10-27 | 14:28

Guide to digital cultural mediation

In the era of the digital revolution, museums and cultural sites are facing important challenges. The question is how to take advantage of technological innovation to bring the visitor into close contact with heritage. Digital cultural mediation projects are part of this approach and offer avenues for proposing interactive and attractive content to a new audience that is familiar with digital tools.

What is digital cultural mediation?

Cultural mediation consists of establishing spaces for dialogue between the participants in a cultural experience, the artists and the cultural organization. It aims to stimulate public participation in cultural life in order to encourage forms of personal and collective appropriation.

Digital cultural mediation is defined as a set of digital technologies and computer supports implemented in physical or virtual places to meet the objectives of cultural mediation. It is important to distinguish between the use of digital technology to create traditional presentation objects such as digitized guidebooks in PDF format or audio guides and forms that exploit digital technology to create an interactive interface between the user and the cultural content. 

In this second case, it is an aid to the visit. These digital mediation devices are developed through computer programming using networks and software applications such as websites, mobile applications and social networks, and different media forms (image, video, text and audio).

What are the challenges of digital cultural mediation?

The development of information and communication technology (ICT) is a major challenge for cultural institutions. Digital mediation is increasingly appreciated and used by a wide category of the public, including single people, elderly couples, young people and teenagers. Multimedia tools complement the traditional text-based narrative. This leads us to ask some fundamental questions:

  • How to enhance cultural content through digital devices?
  • How can digital technology be used to serve the visitor and the educational discourse?
  • What impact will digital mediation have on the visitor's experience of a museum or other cultural site?

The difference between teaching and cultural mediation

Museums and cultural sites are ideal places for learning and discovering historical and artistic heritage. Teaching through cultural visits provides useful information for learners to better understand museum collections or works of art. This is in addition to transmissions based on static documents or the intervention of a guide-lecturer to create a friendly atmosphere between the visitor and the cultural environment.

Cultural mediation aims to make the educational experience more dynamic and active by acting on emotions and feelings. Cultural mediation activities should:

  • Accompany the visitor throughout the learning process;
  • Reinforce the visitor's motivation to learn by himself;
  • Stimulate critical thinking;
  • Create a pleasure of learning;
  • Adapt to the various expectations of visitors.

How to implement cultural mediation in museums?

From cultural mediation to digital mediation

In order to strengthen the links between the public and the cultural space, it is important to make the visitor's journey more attractive and immersive. Static observation of a work of art or cultural heritage can lead to a form of passivity despite the presence of content written on a label or the distribution of audio guides.

Digital mediation is at the service of cultural mediation. It fully engages the visitor through interactive screens, QR codes, NFC technology and applications that engage users to explore, search, compare, feel, act and express themselves. Digital mediation practices offer an excellent opportunity to activate perceptual memory.

Digital mediation in museums

Cultural mediation devices are evolving to take advantage of technological development. They can be classified into two types:

  • Mobile tools that accompany visitors throughout their visit (web applications, NFC technology, etc.);
  • Fixed tools installed such as tactile tables, lighting devices, video projections, etc.);

Digital mediation also includes fun activities such as games to animate the visit of children or virtual logbooks to keep n unforgettable memory of the visit. There are many ways to create a new experience in a museum. The common interest is to help the public to appropriate the work, the place and to explore its history. Augmented reality (AR) is one of the most popular modern digital devices. However, there are many other effective techniques for achieving these goals.

Discover the historical context of heritage in augmented reality

AR makes it possible to restore missing elements of historical heritage and make them visible in 3D. This facilitates the understanding of the significance of physical monuments (buildings, collections of objects, works of art, archives, etc.) as well as aspects of intangible heritage (languages, ways of life, skills, beliefs, customs, etc.).

Revealing the secrets of a work of art with augmented reality

Through applications designed for digital arts, AR allows the visitor to discover a work of art in depth by focusing on its size, the identity of its characters, its artistic complexity and its symbol. It is a unique audiovisual experience that immerses the visitor in the universe of the artwork.

Phygital marketing in museums

What kind of organizations benefit from digital cultural mediation?

Digital cultural mediation is integrated in different places and sectors of activity. It serves as a tool for social inclusion and for integrating the arts into public environments to make them more enjoyable. 

As an example, here is a list of organizations that benefit from digital cultural mediation:

Examples of innovative digital cultural mediation tools

Many cultural venues around the world have invested in innovative digital cultural mediation tools to make their visit memorable and unique:

  • QR codes and NFC chips to access the content of the city of Le Mans and learn more about its historical heritage;
  • The "Our Territory, Our Identities" digital platform" digital platform digital platform, co-created with five school boards to showcase cultural objects and collections from the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). The platform is mainly intended for teachers;
  • Mobile applications like the American Museum of Natural History in New York;
  • A 3D video game designed to make young people discover the Egyptian collections in the Royal Museum of Mariemont in Belgium;
  • The interactive holograms of the Museum of Illusion in Madrid;
  • The Escapes games of the Henri Dupuis Museum in Saint-Omer, the Mucem in Marseille or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam;
  • The Histopad used to visit the Palace of the Popes in Avignon, the Chambord castle and the Conciergerie in Paris. The tool is wonderful to project yourself into medieval life by moving the tablet in the majestic rooms of the castles;
  • Virtual visits of the Louvre Lens thanks to the Uby robot;
  • The immersive sound trail at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in Maincy, Paris
  • The visit of the Hôtel de la Marine through the Confident connected headset with binaural sound technology, Paris;
  • The immersive 4D films of the Cité du Volcan on Reunion Island, a French department in the Indian Ocean;
  • The rediscovery of Vermeer's artistic painting The Girl with the Pearl (1665) using X-rays to reveal details of the original design of the work;
  • An entirely digital exhibition created by the Arab World Institute to resurrect the thousand-year-old sites of Palmyra, Aleppo (Syria) and Mosul (Iraq) and explore the history of the Middle East.

Other digital cultural mediation devices

NFC technology

Proximity communication technology allows data to be exchanged between two devices, such as an interactive kiosk and a mobile phone, using a small chip. NFC technology offers access to contactless content via an Internet connection and in complete security.

QR codes

The QR code is a type of two-dimensional barcode. It can be read on a mobile device to quickly trigger an action such as visiting a website, displaying a phone number or making a payment, among others. 

Video mapping

Video mapping is a technique that consists of projecting light onto static objects to create an optical illusion. Video projection on monuments is the best known form of video mapping.

Virtual reality 

Virtual reality is a technology that uses a dedicated headset to immerse oneself in audiovisual content in 3D and with a 360° perspective that simulates reality.

Do you have a digital cultural mediation project in mind?

MySmartJourney is a digital platform specialized in the creation of digital cultural mediation projects. We use simple and interactive technological devices to make your visitors' journey enjoyable, entertaining and useful. Our goal is to provide visitors with a memorable experience and to encourage them to revisit and share your cultural site.

Discover the platform

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Art Gallery Visitor Scanning QR Code
2022-10-24 | 14:26

How much does it cost to create a professional tour guide web app?

Tour guide applications are valuable digital resources that help visitors enjoy themselves at various venues, including museums, art galleries, cultural or historical sites, hotels, municipal parks, and public spaces. Many companies aren't sure where to begin when planning their own web application development project. Depending on the scope of the project, pricing for this type of service can vary from a modest monthly fee to upwards of $10,000 for a custom-built application. In this article, we break down the costs of creating a professional tour web app. 

What is a tour guide app?

A tour guide app is an application or web app that businesses and organizations leverage to create unique and engaging tourism experiences. It can be customized according to a company's specific needs. 

Tour guide apps can be used for different purposes:

  • To share information in different formats (text, audio, video, etc.) 
  • To create quizzes and games
  • To personalize digital routes for tourist and cultural sites
  • To order
  • To schedule content 
  • To gather data on customer behavior 
  • Etc. 

What is MySmartJourney?

Top use cases for mobile guides 

There are many different reasons why you might want to create a tour guide app for your business or organization. Here are examples of use cases for mobile guides: 

  • Tour builder for museums, art galleries, and historical sites: Businesses can broadcast text, visual, audio, vidéo and 3D content by using MySmartJourney. They can say bye to physical audio guides and printed programs. Thanks to the use of QR codes and NFC chips, visitors benefit from an incomparable experience through engaging content.

  • Tour builder for associations, circuits, and tourist routes: Our contactless and digital solution serves as a 24/7 signage system to provide tourists with useful information. MySmartJourney can be implemented in remote locations or rest stops to showcase local attractions without the need for staff. It is especially helpful for regional tourism associations (RTAs), sectoral tourism associations (STAs), regional county municipalities (RCMs), and business development corporations (BDCs).

  • Tour builder for municipal parks, walking trails, and resorts:
    Whether you want to digitize a treasure hunt or an escape game, MySmartJourney allows you to provide visitors and citizens with fun and interactive experiences. You can create a self-guided outdoor play route over short or long distances to revitalize your public spaces.

  • Tour builder for hotel establishments and traveler services:
    MySmartJourney is a great way to provide customers with informative content about your establishment's services and nearby tourist attractions. You can also use the platform to promote your services and products as well as deliver them directly to their rooms during their stay.

  • Tour builder for artisanal producers and agri-food products: Businesses leverage MySmartJourney to create interpretive activities and automate the reception of visitors to family attractions. Our clients use it to tell the unique story of their family business,  create direct communication with the buyer by deploying it at a market checkout or explain the manufacturing process and give recipe ideas.

Breakdown of the costs to create a web tour guide app

Content Creation

Your content is the most important part because it's the primary thing that people visiting your site will interact with. Content refers to any audio, video, or visual file that explains your site, event, or experience. Ensuring that your content is easy to access and interact with is essential to create an immersive digital tour guide experience. 

As such, it can also be one of the most expensive initial costs of your web application development project. You can decide to outsource content creation or do it internally. The costs to create content will vary depending on the type of content you need (text, video, audio, etc.). It's important to provide app users with a positive user experience through engaging content. 

Multilingualism

Once your content is created, you can choose to translate it to include multiple language options. Don't forget to choose the languages according to your customers. Think wisely: What percentage of visitors who speak a language other than your native language or English do you receive year round? This will guide you in choosing which languages to offer to your visitors.

If you want to translate your content in multiple languages, outsourcing content creation is :

  • Texts: Industry averages price out translation services between 0,19 and 0.23 cents per word depending on the languages involved. 
  • Audios: if you want to add an additional translation to your audio tours, you can expect to spend between $1,000 and $5,000 for recording new tracks with narrators. This adds up to the translation of the narration texts.

Setup and content loading

Once you've prepared the text of your digital tour, you can leverage the MySmartJourney platform to personalize your web app from scratch. It's a tool used by companies in different industries to create informative, useful, and entertaining multimedia digital journeys to impress customers, visitors, and users.

Our interactive web application creator makes sure you meet the needs of users and generates new features while offering businesses affordable prices. Here is a breakdown of our three current pricing packages in 2022:

  • Minimalist package: This package starts at $350. It's an autonomous plan without brand personalization. Users of this plan can access the web creation platform, create QR codes and short URLs as well as access all the basic functionalities, all the multimedia functionalities, and some gamification functionalities. It comes with a guided initial setup of 2 hours. 

  • Classic package: This is our most popular package which starts at $5,500. It includes the great majority of the functionalities of the app and the app is customized to your company's colors. Users of this plan are accompanied until the deployment of their project.  

  • Complete package: This plan has an initial cost of $8,500. It includes all of the app's basic and advanced functionalities. In addition, it includes a support plan.

The prices mentioned above are a one-time initial acquisition cost. You don't need any technical or coding skills to start using MySmartJoutney. Many different options are available for people who want to create their own content.

Ownership

You always own everything on your site and you can change anything anytime. We give our clients complete creative freedom when building web apps for them. It works particularly well for museums, cultural organizations, and government agencies because they need to own and have full copyright over their content.

Marketing

A common mistake people make is forgetting to let their potential clients know about their products before they start marketing them. Although marketing can be an unexpected expense, with some creative thinking, you might not need to invest thousands of dollars.

In addition to having an existing network of contacts, it's also possible to reach out to potential customers through various online channels. A good starting point is to create a Facebook group or Twitter account dedicated to promoting your business. You can then share information about upcoming events, discounts, sales, and promotions.

Yearly license 

Over time, your tour guide app will probably require some changes. For example, you might decide to add new content or you might want to implement new features. With MySmartJourney, the annual license starts currently at $ 1,800 and includes updates, support, future new features. You can also choose to switch from the annual license to the Advantage license. In addition to the classic license, it offers 10 hours of support at a fixed price, as well as premium technical support.

Features of MySmartJourney

Basic features

  • Texts, subtitles, and separators
  • Images
  • Action button (link to other pages or external websites, call to action, etc.)
  • Action button with image
  • Redirection to a webpage
  • Button format customization options
  • Labels, internal notes, classification by projects, etc.

Multimedia features

  • Youtube and Viméo videos
  • Zoom in pictures
  • Animated GIFS
  • Facebook sharing
  • SoundCloud
  • Google forms for interactive polls
  • Back to quest (link to external pages)
  • Native audio content (listen with the phone closed)

Gamification features

  • Quiz creation
  • SketchFab: Integration with 3D
  • Random: to send your client on a page of your choosing randomly
  • Riddles: content hidden behind a correct answer
  • Unity button to create augmented reality

Marketing and operations features

  • Selfie booth
  • Paid experience in the city: content accessible only when the visitor has paid
  • Timer: display content at specific times
  • Product list
  • Remote ordering

How to create your own tour guide app 

MySmartJourney is your best ally when it comes to creating a personalized tour guide app for your business. Our team can get you online in a matter of days while helping you choose a plan that respects your budget. You don’t need coding skills to use our solution, which saves you a lot of time and allows you to focus on generating value for your customers. 

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