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Opportunity for brands to get smart

The apps are part of the Digital Paris project and are designed to enhance visitor experience and reduce the time spent queuing.

The project forms part of the President’s plan to make France a "start-up nation"

Anglo-French digital innovation agency Interactive Rights Management (IRM) is creating mobile apps targeting Parisian tourists and is offering luxury brand partners the opportunity to reach culture and food lovers from around the world via sponsorship opportunities.

The tourist apps are being developed following IRM’s recently appointment by Paris and the Ile-de-France Region to create digital experiences to re-invent and totally transform the tourist experience of the French capital and the surrounding area. IRM was awarded the project after winning the VivaTech 2017 Smart City challenge.

The London-based agency is working on ground-breaking mobile apps and games that will leverage the latest technology to deliver a thrilling new and improved experience for visitors to Paris. The Digital Paris project forms part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to transform France into a “start-up nation” by making innovation a key element in his government’s agenda.

On average, tourists spend 4.7 nights in the ‘City of Light’ but too much of this is wasted queuing. The IRM app will include a pioneering real-time wait indicator for the city’s top cultural and arts attractions, so tourists can gauge where to spend their time most efficiently.

The app will also feature an augmented reality (AR) treasure hunt game, so visitors can be immersed in their surroundings and learn about the rich history of the different sites while queuing. The game will be a thrilling mix of live escape rooms, geo-caching games, AR and virtual reality experiences and adventure role-playing games.

The ultimate goal will be to escort/guide tourists through Paris’s historical treasures and to promote a much wider range of sites than are featured on the usual tourist trails, so opening their eyes to the city’s diversity.

Valérie Bozzetto, joint managing director of IRM says: “We want tourists to stop and look around them. We want them to be engaged and involved. We want to spark their curiosity and make them talk, smile, learn and interact with others. We will stretch and challenge them.”

She adds: “The apps will be free-to-use for tourists in Paris, and we are looking for brand partners who love Paris as much as we do and who want to share that love with visitors, helping us deliver the best possible experience to users. In return, they will be able to reach a highly-desirable market who are in a mindset to spend money.”

Partner products could be featured as prizes within the games, money-off coupons could be downloaded to mobiles for redemption in local retailers, or shops and restaurants could drive traffic by offering discounts to app users who are in their vicinity.

For example, a puzzle clue could be hidden in a nearby partner’s shop or in a restaurant menu – not only generating footfall but completely immersing the advertising as part of the game and experience.

Published in Smart Cities World, December 2017

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