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Digital innovation agency IRM wins Paris Ile-de-France Smart City challenge

Anglo-French digital innovation agency Interactive Rights Management (IRM) has been appointed by the Ile-de-France region to improve the experience and flow at tourist sites in and around Paris, after competing in their VivaTech 2017 Smart City challenge.

Now in its second year, The VivaTech Innovation Conference returned to Paris from June 15-17, 2017, attracting 50,000 tech leaders and innovators including French President Emmanuel Macron, Alphabet’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, among others.

The Challenges invited 32 entrants to pitch ideas for the City of Paris and its suburbs to use technology to improve tourists’ experience, who on average stay 4.7 nights and spend too much of this queuing – security, ticketing, exhibitions, cloakrooms, information, food/drink etc.

IRM’s winning idea centred on providing real-time data on waiting times, while delivering fun, educational and engaging digital experiences. The three-part winning solution encompassed the following:

  • An innovative way of providing tourists with waiting times in real-time using a bespoke device and algorithm. Their existing solution, which has already been implemented and proven successful (in Seattle and Singapore airports, The Broad Museum in Los Angeles), has been improved upon to offer the most attractive solution on the market. It is cost effective, quick to implement and one of the most accurate (+/- 5 minutes)

  • A host of entertaining and educational games, specifically designed for the target demographic, time available, and the physical environment - ranging from hidden object, AR, quizzes, puzzles to massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG).

  • Taking the latest developments in VR to improve on what some museums currently offer (360 virtual visit of a limited number of rooms) and pushing it to the next level allowing tourists to be transported into different areas to learn and interact with their surroundings.

“We are absolutely delighted to have won the Paris Smart City Viva Tech Challenge. The key for us is to leverage and transform that ‘dead’ queuing time into a digitally rich experience, connecting people together and with their physical surroundings,” said Valerie Bozzetto, Co-founder of IRM. “This is just the beginning for us as this type of approach could be implemented for any situation where you can connect and entertain large numbers of people waiting or gathering – ranging from music festivals, museums, amusement parks, airports, and more.”

“Paris and its cultural treasures desperately need an up to date way of connecting with tourists, but particularly ‘digital natives’, and enhancing their visit to one of the world’s greatest cities,” added Megan Goodwin, Co-founder and joint Managing Director at IRM. “Bringing ideas from the games and entertainment world, combined with innovations in real time data about ticket sales, traffic, local retailers can help museums promote themselves and also manage crowds so that attracting massive numbers doesn't turn into a nightmare.”

The IRM team brings more than 15 years’ experience in designing games with different content for different audiences, having managed the digital and social strategies for over 20 global brands. IRM has spent the last two years advising leading museums such as The British Museum, cultural institutions, and regional authorities on their journey to making cities smarter, and experiences more relevant and engaging to the millennium audience.

Published in Smart Cities World June 27th 2017

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