Innovative ideas for cultural and creative sectors in Europe

WYSIWYG

Scan Your Art

Ever tried standing at a museum, in front of an unusual building or a statue and wanted to know more about what you are looking at? WYSIWYG solves this issue by making public and non-public culture responsive by making it scannable with smartphones and tablets.

Innovation

WYSIWYG will change the way people interact with their cultural surroundings, as suddenly it is possible to obtain information about cultural artefacts that previously were hidden or needed manual information seeking. Additionally through the usage of social interaction and gaming, WYSIWYG will enhance the spreading of culture. WYSIWYG enables and motivates the user to gather and share information about cultural artefacts such as architecture, contemporary art, classical monuments / art-pieces – all physical objects of art can be imaged, geographically positioned and shared. It motivates the users, through social gaming, to seek and share the information and to stand critical to the information provided. It provides the city-sphere a chance to inform and motivate citizens and visitors to seek culture without disturbing the existing city landscapes. It offers an information portal for content owners who are struggling exploiting digital communication, on limited budgets, for a digital presence through creation of a joined digital cultural platform across Europe. It enables a scene for more or less established artists, historical cultural personalities and potentially “forgotten” artefacts to be promoted. WYSIWYG aims to meet the stated assignment: Spread Culture.

Technology

WYSIWYG will be using existing and proven technology that has been tested and used by large software providers for years. Specifically WYSIWYG will be using Image Recognition as found on Google Goggles, Augmented Reality as found on Layar and geo targeted information as found on Google Maps and Facebook. The core of the white label platform will be a Content Management System (CMS) where content owners can manage the information and existing sources in an easy and seamless way. The CMS will be built on HTML5, CSS3 and JS functionality to facilitate seamless cross platform usage on all devices. As WYSIWYG will be using specific hardware on the user’s smartphone or tablet for the technology to work, WYSIWYG will initially build platform specific mobile applications through porting technology. WYSIWYG will continuously monitor the technical development within the these technologies with the focus of optimizing the user interaction – based on a web application, with the aim of defining the product as one with minimal development and maintenance costs associated with running and updating multiple mobile applications. An important point to make is that not all information should manually be uploaded within the Content Management System, as the tagging standard by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is being widely used. WYSIWYG will offer clients the option of feeding dynamic content from existing sites such as Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, related news and social feeds, reviews etc.

Target Group

The idea behind WYSIWYG came to us after having visited multiple museums, cities, geographical areas and other cultural entities. We were, as digital natives, disappointed that very few of the entities are using the latest available technology to reinforce and communicate the stories around the cultural artifact, the location etc. and thereby provide relevant and learning information to the observer. In other projects we both individually initiated dialogue with different Danish museums and cultural institutions (NGO’s). And we discovered a general need for digital platforms that communicate culture, unfortunately often hindered by lack of funding and centralized focus within the individual organisations. This became the springboard for our target group definition and what we define as Content Owners: Visual arts museums, Historical museums, Archives, Governmental Organisations (e.g. cultural ministries) and Non-Governmental Organisations (e.g. tourist organisations). All these entities have cultural content available. From our perspective these content owners’ existing digital initiatives are focused around a single exhibition, event or happening. The long run focus is lacking and often all these digital initiatives are lost in the general digital communication clutter, due to lack of knowledge on digital communication and on how consumers interact with digital media. Commercial partnerships is thought as secondary revenue model, both for WYSIWYG and content owners.

Implementation

The realisation of WYSIWYG requires further investigation into markets on local and European scale. We will need to specify the designs and technical documentation of the WYSIWYG platform. The market research should cover the specific geographical areas we wish to focus on and define the individual needs and wishes of the target groups. What local specifications should we take into consideration? What is the size and scalability of our focus markets? The design of the platform, both the visual designs and the technical designs, should take into consideration the wishes to features the target group expresses. Each ‘ad-on’ feature should be considered in a technical aspect as well as a visual design aspect. The team has access to highly qualified technicians who already have provided similar technical solutions. Therefore specific technical input will be involved when technical documentation is to be made. Once the technical documentation is defined the cost of development should be visible and budgeting can be done on a more detailed level and the development of the platform can begin. The local market research and the design specifications can to a high extend be handled by the team internally but for non-local market insight, we will need to partner up with persons of interests with cultural insights into the target markets, who can give us inputs and sparring concerning export potential and product appeal in regards to European/local cultural dissemination.

Sustainability

The long run perspective for WYSIWYG lies through its focus on solving the basic needs for the target group: the content owners - and through these; the citizens of Europe, to obtain, disseminate and share cultural knowledge. Besides the given benefits of the WYSIWYG offerings, the revenue models is structured through providing additional sustainability as it creates appeal for small to large content owners based on their available budgets and spend level. WYSIWYG aim to sell access to the platform through two approaches: 1. Fee-based (100% self-handled, assisted handling and fully handled by WYSIWYG) 2. One off (including the option for maintenance and support add-ons) Besides specific access to the platform and support in the day to day handling, WYSIWYG aims to provide consultancy in how to best utilize the platform. As a future research project, in regards to creating further revenue for WYSIWYG and content providers, we will look into how Freemium price models and micro payments. One of the key success factors of WYSIWYG is the awareness of the platform and brand. Therefore WYSIWYG will aim to create partnerships with influential cultural related organisations, entities and persons. To create further focus on the benefits of using a joined platform for communicating culture and letting the citizens of Europe have centralized platform for obtaining relevant cultural information.