Europeana Beacon is an exciting new project using iBeacon technology that is now seeking crowdfunding to help deliver a local discovery app to towns and cities across Europe.
The Europeana Beacon project was started at Hack4Pisa in October 2014 by a team from local software company Oimmei. After winning the competition and impressing the judges, not just with their innovative idea but also their strong team, they went on to be finalists at the second Apps4Europe international business lounge at the Future Everything festival in Manchester in February 2015.
At the heart of Europeana Beacon is a mobile app that uses iBeacon technology to let users to discover local culture in new and immersive ways, and gives local landmarks the chance to speak for themselves! Pictures, videos or historical facts from Europeana are supplemented by content from local providers (town municipalities, tourism offices, and so on), who can also build rich, engaging experiences, including treasure hunts and quizzes.
The challenge the team now faces is to find the support and funding from local providers and fellow developers that will allow them to launch this as a platform that remains free to end users.
Simone Figlié, part of the Oimmei team behind the Europeana Beacon (eBe) project, writes: “For all of this to happen we need the active participation of municipalities or local tourism offices who want to “beaconize” their cities, placing the beacons in the appropriate areas and providing good quality content. We wanted the app to be free for the end user - our main goal is for anyone to go to a city and discover its beauty at no cost - so we need funding for developing the platform. At FutureEverything 2015 in Manchester, we met with the great team from Goteo, who showed us the possibilities of crowdfunding.”
The crowdfunding campaign
Goteo and Oimmei have teamed up to launch a 40-day crowdfunding campaign to secure the development of Europeana Beacon - http://goteo.org/project/europeana-beacon
Individuals and local institutions can support this exciting project by simply following the link and selecting their contribution amount on the panel at the right. What’s more, every contribution will be matched by a funding institution (in this case, Spanish University UNIA), doubling all campaign contributions - but only if a campaign reaches its minimum goal by the 40-day time limit.
There are also higher contribution amounts linked with special rewards. Rewards are particularly aimed at early contributors within towns and cities and vary from access to the platform in the beta stage to funders’ involvement in development decisions.
For developers around the world, the success of this crowdfunding campaign will mean that all the App UX/UI designs artworks, as well as the real assets used to develop the platform will be released as open source. The actual “Sketch” or “Photoshop” files will be available for anyone, so people can follow the flow of the Apps through entire views of artworks or export any single piece of artwork for their personal reuse. In addition, during all the development process, the Oimmei team will publish a “development diary” in blog form, discussing the main decisions they need to take as well as any technical hurdles or solutions they have to implement in order to successfully develop the platform.