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Attraction Compass: AR Directions for Tourists

A fun and informative way to navigate in a large city, by giving directions to the nearest tourist attractions.

Photo of Sofus Addington
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Written by

It's difficult to find your way around when visiting a new city. You can get directions using Google Maps, but then you would need to know where you want to go, and how you want to go there.

The Attraction Compass aims at providing directions to nearest tourist attractions including suggestions to transportation methods. It comprises a website, using ARKit for iOS and WebXR for Android, to display directions to nearest attractions using Augmented Reality.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

The Attraction Compass will mostly benefit visitors coming to Detroit, and residents who want to be "tourists in their city". The solution will help connect tourists with attractions using various transportation methods.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are a small team of engineers from Copenhagen, Denmark, including software, mechanical, and electro engineers. We usually work with smart IoT temperature monitoring, temperature mapping and calibrations, but we are always ready to take on challenges and try out new ideas. Check it out at

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $250,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

The solution is based on software and data, since it will be a website running on tourists own smartphones. Tasks are budgeted as follows: Marketing and promotion: $30.000 Data collection: $20.000 Software development: $160.000 Web Hosting: $10.000 Partnership investigation: $20.000 Pre-development testing: $10.000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The first step in the pilot is to develop a simple "mockup" for a few specific attractions. The mockup will be tested at the locations with the actual tourist. The tourists will be asked to try the mockup and describe their user experience. There are budgeted $10.000 for this pre-development test, which will be used to create the mockup, fund man-hours for the field testing and evaluation of the collected data. A few hours will also be used in investigating the feasibility of ARKit and WebXR on a web browser. Otherwise, native apps will be developed instead. Depending on the feedback received in this test, the solution will be developed. There are budgeted $150.000 for the programming, $20.000 for collecting data about attractions and transportation methods. The first version will only include a few selected attractions at a specific city area. Since the solution can be accessed using a browser on a smartphone, QR-codes and can be used at the locations to promote the idea.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Initial success will be measured based on the pre-development test feedback. The test is successful if >70% of interviewed users will consider using the solution, and if >70% can use the mockup without training. After launching the pilot, will success be measured by daily use of the site and routing to external partners.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The project will be funded by partnerships with tourist attractions and transportation methods. There are budgeted $20.000 to investigate potential partnerships, to ensure that the concept can generate sufficient revenue after the pilot period.

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Boratha Tan

Thanks for putting in this proposal Sofus Addington ! I work with the City:One Facilitators. Using AR to provide more info about Detroit seems very fun! I did see that your proposal lists out using a smartphone. Are there any other ways that can be used to expand your AR capabilities (such as touch screens at bus stops, interactable street signs at eye level, etc.)? Can we also include more information than just tourist attractions?

Photo of Sofus Addington

Hi Boratha. The idea behind using smartphones is to reduce deployment price. But I like the idea of having interactive and stationary screens at attractions and public transportation. Here in Denmark, we usually see something similar at the mall. The two concepts (Smartphones and interactive screens) would use the same data, so there is definitely some synergy.
Information about shopping areas, hospitals, hotels etc. could also be integrated. I think there would be a lot of potential in partnerships there.
But I think it would be best to start with an MVP, and then expand when the concept is validated.