Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide
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Touring Machine: Your personal tour guide

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Touring Machine is sightseeing re-imagined. It's the tour guide that knows what you need to get the most out of your visits to museums and archaeological sites.

Presentation held in SemanticWeb Conference
Date: June 3, 2013
Place: San Francisco, CA

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Published in: Travel
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  • Hi, I’m Vangos Pterneas and I will present you Touring Machine. Touring Machine is sightseeing re-imagined. It offers a personalized tour guiding experience for adults and children.
  • Imagine you are visiting a new city, a museum or an exhibition site and want to learn more about it. Current interaction is based on pre-written texts or pre-recorded multimedia.Most of the existing electronic guides contain looong long texts and images. Adults spend a lot of time trying to find the information they want, interacting more with the machine rather than the exhibits. On the other hand, kids almost always try to find more innovative ways to spend their time. Additionally, the whole maintenance cost of such systems is too high for the museums and results in even higher end-costs for the visitors.
  • After all, people need one tour guide that is engaging to use and tailors its content to their personal demands. According to Eurostat surveys, 8 out of 10 people prefer a more personalized experience when visiting a cultural center.
  • This is Touring Machine: A tour guide that conforms its content to the visitors’ characteristics by totally personalizing its content. Rather than being just a tour guide for only one museum, Touring Machine is a global AppStore for every tour, expanding day by day.
  • Our MVP contains the tour of the Acropolis of Athens. It has already been awarded the first place between 70 countries in Microsoft’s worldwide innovation competition, held in New York. Currently, we continue our entrepreneurial journey adding more and more tours from all over the world.
  • But how does the personalization work? First of all, Touring Machine contains no pre-written information. Everything is composed on the fly by our proprietary Natural Language generation engine. The descriptions are generated dynamically for each visitor, according to their age, interests and history. This way, we can do various tricks: For example, kids view descriptions in simpler language, while adults are presented with more complicated phraseology. Moreover, our engine is capable to answer questions in natural language, just like human tour guides!
  • Touring Machine runs on modern smartphones and tablets, so the whole experience is enriched with location-specific information and spatial expressions. Touring Machine knows where you are and what you are looking at, so it can also make comparisons between what you have already seen and what you are currently watching.
  • Location capabilities, along with the built-in voice narration, help the visitors focus on the exhibits, rather than searching their devices for desired information. After all, the exhibits are what really matters…
  • How is this transformed to numbers though? Last year there were 150 million American travellers. 120 million of them attended various cultural events. That’s our target market. If our platform manages to attract just 0.5% share, then we’ll make marginal profits in almost three years. Why?
  • Because, as research indicates, culture travellers spend 48% more money during their trips. Almost HALF of their total budget is afforded on cultural activities. What’s really interesting is that 37% are willing to pay even more for better quality. That is what Touring Machine combines: Tours which are extremely cheap, yet of best quality possible.
  • The people behind Touring Machine are Dimitris, George, Galini and myself. We have worked on several projects during the past five years and we officially formed a company seven months ago.
  • Oh, one more thing…: We are happy to announce that the city tour of San Francisco is ready and will be publicly available the next few days. It will remain free for a couple of weeks, so every one of you will be able to download it and enjoy San Francisco in a more PERSONAL way!
  • Thank you very much!!!
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