Recently app Lighthouse house has deployed 11 beacons on the grounds of the Varna Archaeological Museum. The Museum’s arguably most celebrated exhibit is the Gold of Varna, the oldest gold treasure in the world, excavated in 1972 and dating to 4600-4200 BCE, which occupies three separate exhibition halls.
The Bulgarian App Lighthouse is one of the nominated finalists in the “Internet of Things” category in the Central European Startup Awards. National winners for Bulgaria will be announced at a special ceremony on September 25th. The Varna company offers an innovative, interactive city guide that provides information on tourist, cultural, sports, shopping and events in Varna and the region.
The application is in four languages - Bulgarian, English, Russian and German, said Sapundjiev. “The language on which the phone is set is also the language in which the application will be displayed”. “We are betting on the business that would like to reach the tourist or the city’s inhabitant, because the application is free for the end user.”
Our app Lighthouse beacons are now located on 25 of the most interesting tourist sites in Varna. Every visitor to the city can be notified when he or she is close to one of the largest (and small) landmarks in the city. With the cooperation of the municipality of Varna, beacons were placed on sites such as the Assumption Cathedral, some of the great Bulgarian revolutionaries such as Vasil Levski, the alley of the Olympic hopes, the park in Asparuhovo and many others.
We used the most popular “urban furniture” – the street lamps of the city to deploy the sensors. The sensors themselves do not draw electricity, they are powered by batteries that can last up to 2 years without replacement.
Exclusive thanks to the teams of the departments of Tourism , Infrastructure and Culture in the Municipality of Varna, as well as the Deputy Mayor of Varna Mr. Kosta Bazitov and the Mayor of Varna Mr. Ivan Portnih.
The Lighthouse application will continue its expansion in Varna and other cities in Bulgaria. Lighthouse app works also on the project “Inno Think Tank” part of European Youth Capital called iSport, aiming at linking all municipal sports grounds in Varna to improve the awareness and increase the use of the sites for sports by all residents and visitors of the city. For more information on “Isport”: The official Facebook page of the project
Ever since Bluetooth has announced that it is working on the low-energy version 5 of its technology, the beacons have begun to enter the media and increasingly “disturb” the peace of the mobile world. Large brands and small retailers began experimenting with this technology and placing beacons at their sites in order to make their product more visible. Although using beacons has proven to be a good marketing tool, we at Lighthouse decided we want to provide a different end-user experience by creating a travel app that is, first beneficial to city residents and visitors, and Only after that, maybe try to connect the business with the user.
Location is an important indicator of the context, but it is not exactly the same as proximity. It is important to understand the difference.
For example, the fact that you are in a certain location means, that our interest has led us there for many reasons. But there is a big difference in how likely you are to be interested in a specific subject based on whether you are “near” or right next to it. Let’s say you walk in the park and see a nice flower. Depending on whether you just notice it from a distance, or go to it to look at it more closely, tells a lot about your level of interest and how much you want to know about it, another is whether you want to smell it, that already depends on the flower itself. Using the beacons as a helper in tourism, we can create contextual information and send it to the tourist or city resident. This means that you as a user no longer need to plan where you are after 4 hours from the beginning of your day, just walking around to discover what is interesting around you, without unnecessary effort, such as opening a map or scan QR codes, just go and the information arrives in your phone. The Beacon will point you to the nearby object, whether it is to your liking (the object) or not , entirely depend on your preference and on the physical presentation of the object itself. For people who like to plan, our app also offers navigation to sites, even if you are miles away.
For many years, people thought the NFC and QR code was the answer to digitization in tourism, but both options proved to have too many flaws, as shown in the chart below, the beacon technology beat them in all paragraphs:
Bluetooth LE in the form of Beacons will be the technology that will finally unlock the potential energy of proximity-based services and interactions originally set out by Apple and then followed by Google. We at Lighthouse, however, think that there is no bad approach or wrong technology for digitization of Bulgarian tourism. The more, the better!
Bulgaria needs every technology, in order to stand out in the ever more competitive and fast-growing world tourism.
Whatever your own travel views, the tools are available and they are all there to help you navigate in the new city, save time and get the most out of your short stay . Whether you choose to live in the 20th Century and ask random people on the street where the cathedral is located in Varna and they will take you to take you at least 3 kilometers from it, or install the Lighthouse app on your phone and quickly and easily navigate to the most interesting places, depends entirely on you. There is no wrong approach, and in the end there is always the sweet feeling that you have experienced something different, something unforgettable, in one word, you have lived! This is our motto “Live” because there is no time for the other option! 🙂
This is a translated text from the Bulgarian National Television channel BNT. You can find the original article here:
Three Varna locals created a tourist guide for smartphone using one of the most advanced connectivity technologies – Beacons. The application is free in google play and entered the market just as in Varna began to arrive the first tourists.
The most interesting places on the Black Sea are presented in a fun way in English . Anyone who has installed the application on a smartphone or tablet receives a push notification – image, coordinates and a brief description of an object when passing by 100 meters away.
“What we created is certainly a clearer presentation of small objects that are not shown anywhere on the WEB.”
Chilean born, Daniel Montiglio, responsible for the presentation of the tourist sites in the Annex interesting and catchy way.
“What I as a foreigner find interesting, I think maybe can be interesting for the tourists also.”
The application uses a unique technology for the country – Beacon. Developed several years ago, they are already easy to use and provide accurate navigation in many institutions and businesses in the United States. But, buying them is too expensive. So the team began to produce them themselves.
“This technology allows low energy connectivity of the phone to a place around and I think that this is the sole option that will not wear out your phone battery and at the same time whenever you’re near a place, you will get the necessary information.”
The team has already installed its Beacons on airports in Varna and Burgas, as well as many key locations in the region. So far the app contain more than 40 sites of Varna and soon more than 250 hotels, restaurants, museums and local businesses will join.
Над 250 туристически обекта, хотели, заведения, музеи и локални бизнеси от Варна ще влязат в мобилно приложение, чуято цел е да предоставя информация за тях на всички преминаващи край тях. Това съобщиха за Радио Варна основателите на приложението Иван Димитров и Даниел Монтиглио – чилиец, който от 12 години живее във Варна.
До момента в приложението присъстват над 40 обекта от Варна, двете морски летища и дори държавният културен институт „Двореца” в Балчик. Сред обектите в приложението е и Радио Варна – първото радио в България.
За целта, Варна, Балчик, Бургас и останалите градове в страната, които в течение на времето ще бъдат присъединени към приложението, ще бъдат „опасани” със специални устройства, разработени от екипа. Те използват една от най-напредничавите технологии – бийкъни, създадена преди три години. Устройствата са така проектирани, че ще могат да издържат поне две години…
Апликация за смартфони ще предоставя на туристите пълната информация за всички обекти и услуги в двореца в Балчик.
“Държавен културен институт – Културен център „Двореца” сключи договор за пилотно въвеждане на територията на комплекса на една иновация в електрониката“, съобщи директорът на ДКИ-КЦ „Двореца” Жени Михайлова, информира dariknews.bg. …
Случвало ли ви се е след екскурзия в чужд град да откриете, че е имало още много места, които си е струвало да посетите, но сте ги пропуснали, въпреки че сте минали на метри от тях? Създателите на новото туристическо приложение Lighthouse обещават това да не се повтаря, поне, първоначално, що се отнася до градовете Варна и Бургас.
Всеки път щом минете в близост до културна забележителност или местен бизнес (ресторант, кафене или магазин и др.), който е партньор на Lighthouse автоматично ще получите информация (на англ. език) за обекта или специални оферти, за да може разходката ви да е още по-интересна и да може винаги да сте на правилното място в точното време…