This category contains 30 posts

Helsinki Bookmarks – collaborating with a team of IDBM students

We believe that digital tags can provide a new dimension to the cityscape. NFC tags placed at key locations around the city can open up a new media space by offering local, digital content to the users.

Smart Urban Spaces Helsinki collaborated with an international and interdisciplinary team of IDBM students during the semester 2011-2012. The project brief for the students was to further develop the concept of city tags by visualizing and providing viable service concepts of the ecosystem.

In 2012, Forum Virium Helsinki proceeds with the themes of guiding tourists as well as exploring the possibilities to provide multiple city services through tags.  The city services can be linked to traffic, events or information. On the other hand maybe even independent service providers could use the tags for location-based services.

Below, you can see the student’s compelling visualization of what one possible ecosystem around the city tags, Helsinki Bookmarks, could look like.

The students’ semester included a field trip to China where they organized a workshop to the students at Aalto-Tongi Design Factory as well as met with local companies. Benchmarking, interviewing and brainstorming resulted in Helsinki Bookmarks -concept. Students also made a prototype for Timo Sarpaneva 2012 – Private Collection – gallery in Helsinki. Through an NFC tag the user could access a video telling information about the work itself.

The International Design Business Management -students’ work is one of the five IDBM industry projects presented in the World Design Capital Pavilion on the 24th of May from 15.00 to 17.00. The event is open for all participants and the main language of the event is English.

24.5.2012 Masters of Aalto: Feel Inspired by IDBM 15.00-17.00

World Design Capital Pavilion

Ullanlinnankatu 2-4, 00130 Helsinki


Hernesaari waking up for the summer!

Hernesaari welcomed its first cruise ships a bit over a week ago and now the new season is starting to wake up the area once again. What has changed is the harbor area. Now the shops are even closer to the cruiseships and there is also a nice cafeteria in the area. Since Hernesaari is experiencing big changes during the next coming years, as the area is turning into a residential neighborhood, the plans for its temporary use are changing each year. This makes it a great place for testing and piloting services and an interesting environment for events and festivals. What is new this summer is the boat connection to the city center. Its a nice 30min ride to the market square or the other way around.

Our Walk and Feel pilot last summer assisted passengers to find their way to the Helsinki City center by feet. This summer, the same digital path with the signposts will be offered to the visitors by the Helsinki Tourist Office.

Taking over a new citymedia – Debriefing Open Forum 14.3.

We were gladly surprised of the success of Open Forum event held on 14th of March. The City Planning Departments auditorium was full of people from distinct fields. We had a variety of speakers with different insights to using NFC, interesting presentations and conversations.

The afternoon was followed by Smart Urban Spaces seminar with interesting speakers such as Sirpa Nordlund from Mobey Forum and Smart Urban Spaces project partners telling their stories  about pilots and existing services in the market.

You can find and download all of the presentation materials of the Open Forum event (in finnish) form Forum Viriums site from here.

The material from the Smart Urban Spaces Seminar can be found from here.

Pekka Koponen, Forum Virium Helsinki

Esa Blomberg, Moderator and Mika Metsämäki, Verso

Thomas Hutton, ThingLink

Kristiina Ilkka, Nokia

Taisto Junkkari, Hansaprint Oy/TagAge

Panel discussion in the Smart Urban Spaces seminar.

Nappula’s -application in the finalists of mobile & contactless awards 2012

Finalists for the mobile and contactless awards for 2012 were announced including familiar companies & concepts. The awards, announced in the end of April in London are divided into over 10 categories. Achievements across a wide range of sectors and countries throughout Europe are presented.

Although contactless technologies have been used extensively in payments and retail industry, the public sector is present in the awards as well. We want to highlight the Daisy applications nomination in the public  sector. The application used in the Nappula pilot, Daisy from While On the Move, is competing in the Public Domain category. Finnish examples were well present as other finalists in the same category include also Fjord Nordics’ World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 mobile application. Loyality category included K- Plus loyality card for use in the K-group’s stores in Finland.

Taking over a new citymedia with NFC

We have considered NFC as a means to easily access a new media space. As a continuum of the cityscape, with a tap of your phone, you could easily access new, useful services. This is the starting point to the next Open Forum -event.

Smart Urban Spaces Helsinki is hosting the event on the 14th of March. We have been able to gather different actors to speak about the use of near field communication through cases and examples. What is the role of the city when planning this kind of services? What about entrepreneurs and their possibilities to take part in taking over a new citymedia?

Open Forum -is a series of events hosted by Forum Virium Helsinki. Their mission is to bring together different actors and raise discussion from current topics.

The Open Forum events during the year 2012 are part of the World Design Capital Helsinki program.

Sign up or read more about the event here. The event is held in Finnish.


WDC Helsinki app through NFC


World Design Capital Helsinki is using NFC tags to download the mobile app! The mobile application showing the digital programme of the design capital year has been available for download for a while. Nearly 20 000 UPM’s tags around the city and surrounding areas are featured in posters and stickers to allow easier access to the application for NFC phone users.

Read the whole article here.

Tag spotting in Helsinki

During the Christmas holidays, while having a brunch at Primula, I noticed them using a mobile dimension to share information to customers. Small ad-stands on the tables invite the customers to try out the tags. From them you can get the info by reading a 2D barcode, NFC tag or navigating to a mobile website. 2D barcodes are used with most of the mobile applications nowadays, but it was interesting to spot the NFC tag as well. The company providing the service, AdCode provides a menu where the user is directed with different functions such as accessing the lunch menu, checking-in and making a table reservation.

We are happy to see tags showing up to the cityscape! Since we are now working with concepting citytags in general and from the commercial side as well, its great to see actors working with them. We hope that in the future you can access other than location based info form the same tag and even know the locations of each tag in the city from the same place.

Similar services are provided and happening in other locations around the world as well. Mailboxes in Paris were recently equipped with NFC stickers to provide extra services to locals. In San Francisco, city parking meters were equipped with stickers to provide NFC handset owners a possibility to pay their parking by phone. Check out links to read more about these from the links & likes section.

Happy passengers in Hernesaari

The Walk and Feel pilot got good feedback from the passengers although areas for development still exist. Plans for next summer are to develop the service further based on the experiences from last summer.

Read more about the Walk and Feel pilot results at Forum Virium Helsinki’s webpage from here.

Greetings from daycare!

During the fall, Nappula has been rolling in the two daycare centers in Herttoniemi. While the plans are to continue the pilot during next spring and take on more groups from the existing daycare centers, now is the time to get important data from the users of the service so far. Through collecting user data from the staff and participating groups’ parents, we hope to get new insights for developing the pilot for the spring.

Were happy about the great daycare staff involved in the pilots we have in the two daycare centers. We’ve noticed how important it is to have positive and dedicated people participating in the pilot as in the trial part of the project not everything works perfectly.

Now we also have an introductory video from Nappula which shows the core of the pilot in a visual form. Take a look!

Smart Urban Spaces Helsinki is now more than a blog!

After writing about our project pilots during the summer we at Forum Virium Helsinki considered that it is time for a change. We decided to change from a blog to a webpage about Smart Urban Spaces -project and pilots in Helsinki. Follow us at sushelsinki webpage!