Developing Experiences Through Technology

Olaf Schlieper starts by building on his long experience in tourism and how today it has arrived at the Metaverse.

Today, as a National Tourism Organisation, they have reached a place where their role requires a strong mix of experts and knowledge partners. Today, knowledge transfer forms a key priority in the work they do and this is particularly the place when it comes to what we can learn from sharing experiences of using XR solutions.

Olaf Schlieper starts by building on his long experience in tourism and how today it has arrived at the Metaverse, where he participates in immersive conferences in 3D environments and usually with more questions than answers.


Today, as a National Tourism Organisation, they have reached a place where their role requires a strong mix of experts and knowledge partners. Today, knowledge transfer forms a key priority in the work they do and this is particularly the place when it comes to what we can learn from sharing experiences of using XR solutions.


As they've ventured into this space, the journey started out looking at 360 videos, augmented reality to complement reality, then mixed reality to interact with reality and now to virtual reality to offer a completely digital environment which excludes reality.


They've seen many use cases and advantages in the process of experimenting with these different developments, for example with mixed reality the opportunity to play together with Beethoven or inside some of the famous castles, offering the possibility to go in or look through the castle windows to get this a unique view.


Olaf talks about the journey through different phases of the web from Web 1 where static text and images were helping digitise information, to Web 2 an altogether more interactive environment with advanced applications using AI, including mixed reality, 360 videos and voice assistants.


The Web 3.0 development is what excites Olaf the most as it's an entirely different world of layers, different digital properties and the opportunity to fully cut-off users from the real world and take them into completely virtual worlds.


This has led GNTB to develop a virtual solution to experience the natural landscapes of Germany in VR. This includes virtual galleries, discoverable with interactive tools and playful experiences which all happen in VR, some lead into secondary virtual worlds and encourage playfulness and activities, such as virtual climbing, reaching other viewpoints as well as many different ways in which as a virtual tourist you can jump on craft and discover a rich array of experiences in true virtual reality.


The experience is delivered through the Meta Quest 2, which made sense as one of the most available, successful and affordable devices on the market today. The experience included:

  1. Drone flights
  2. Interactive picture galleries
  3. Large-scale cinema
  4. Climbing
  5. Spherical panoramas
  6. Panoramic viewpoints
  7. Accessible interactive elements like climbing
  8. 3D Sound which transforms the viewing of a film


They've been recognised for their work as winners of Next Reality Contest 2022 and as they continue to explore opportunities in this field of technology. As a National Tourist Board, it shows that they are on the right track to winning recognition against other experiences.


Content experiences are key, for example, the use of ultra high-resolution camera drones means that the experiential aspect of discovering content, whilst gamification creates opportunities for accessibility, which is key to not only using technologies like this for inspiration and discovery but also to open up tourism experiences to those who can't always access them in-person.


Milestones


At GNTB, this pathway towards the metaverse is seen as a gradual journey whereas they go forward, learning is key. There needs to be an openness to learning, testing and sometimes failing.


The next big thing is the Metaverse, where a parallel world presents itself in which anything is possible.


Key Takeaways

  • Gamification creates opportunities for accessibility (for those who can't always access them in person).

  • Content experiences are key.

  • There needs to be an openness to learning, testing and sometimes failing.
Published on:
December 2022
About the contributor

Olaf Schlieper

German National Tourist Board