Tourism is one of the major European economical, cultural and social enterprises. However, information and services are often inadequate to the user needs and requests. Tourists are usually projected into an unknown environment where it is difficult to identify services points. At the same time, information and service needs are commonly in real time. At present, tourist information is mainly based on paper guide or on information points in relevant tourist positions. Therefore, this is a static source of information. The PALIO project will design an open communication and information architecture to support tourists for an efficient navigation and interaction in a physical space. It aims to permit the implementation and the usability of new services in a transparent way for the user.
The aim and ambition of this project is to provide new and free tourist services, directly available for tourists and citizens by developing and implementing complex data systems with user friendly and personalised interfaces. The design of the PALIO service is driven by the combination of some new concepts as: personalisation, accessibility anytime, from anywhere and with any communication technology, real-time interactions.
These objectives will be achieved through the development of some technological and service innovations and in particular:
- Integration of mobile and fixed telecommunication networks;
- Methodologies and technologies for the design of scalable and personalised access, information and services;
- Tools for service personalisation and for interaction through mobile and portable terminals.
The PALIO system is based on the concurrent adoption of the following concepts:
- Integration of different (wireless and wired) telecommunication technologies to offer services through both fixed terminals in public spaces and mobile personal terminals (e.g. mobile phones, PDAs, laptops);
- Location awareness to modify dynamically the information presented, according to user position;
- Adaptation of the contents to provide automatically various presentations depending on user requirements, needs, preferences;
- Scalability of the information to different communication technologies and terminals.
- Interoperability between different service providers in both the envisaged wireless network and the World Wide Web.
The possibility of having mobile access to the Internet will allow the development of a virtual Geographic Information System (GIS) that will assist tourists during their visits. PALIO will allow a mobile access to multimedia services through both well-deployed technologies, such as the GSM phase + standard (which provides high bit-rate packet-switched data services with the General Packet Radio data Service, GPRS) and new mobile technologies, as the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, UMTS. In particular, an open architecture will be designed that will be able to inter-operate with both GSM (in a first phase) and UMTS (in a second phase). The integration of emerging technologies will permit scalability and flexibility of the communication architecture. The new information service will be specifically tailored for the mobile environment envisaged by the PALIO project. The Augmented Virtual City (AVC) system will be able to adapt the information contents to the access technology used (e.g. PC, kiosk, PDA, mobile phone), network characteristics (e.g. GSM or UMTS) and the abilities, requirements and preferences of individual users, freeing them from technological and physical constraints.
For PALIO realization four main phases have been identified, mainly oriented to the foreseen experiments:
- Identification of user requirements and applications: context analysis, scenarios, user requirements, application requirements;
- System design: hardware and software platforms, system architecture, adaptation of communication and information technologies;L%- Implementation of hardware and software modules of the information system;
- Integration, test and validation of the whole system.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
17671 Iraklio, Crete
71500 Heraklion, Crete
SO30 3DS Southampton