NTT Resonant (Minato-ku, Toyko, CEO: Masahiro Wakai) has initiated a proof of concept for Nikko Guide (URL: http://beacon.goo.ne.jp/) powered by goo, an app using Beacon (*1) at 113 locations for sightseeing spots and shops in the famous sightseeing area of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture.
This will be the first demonstration of a tourism app using Beacon technology to link location information and user-generated information. It will take place in the Nikko area, including the World Heritage Site of the Shrines and Temples of Nikko. (*2)
Beacons are simple to set up and their signal strength can be adjusted with ease. Using Beacons, shops can send information regarding their current sales campaigns and other important information to visiting customers. Additionally, customers can set it up by themselves so that they automatically receive tourist information or shop information during their visit. Beacons can also share, in real time, updates by other visitors such as, “Right now, the fall leaves are amazing here.” Similarly, helpful information and word-of-mouth communication can be shared like “There are bathrooms you can use,” “There’s a smoking area,” “There are people who speak English” and “There’s a free Wi-Fi hotspot.”
This application will have support for Japanese as well as English, Chinese and Korean.
This proof of concept will verify the efficiency of the app in offering information to both domestic and international travelers in cooperation with various locations. We will work to develop this service to contribute to the regional economic growth and to further increase convenience for users hereafter.
Beacon is technology that utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a power conversation communication technology. When a user’s smartphone comes within a set distance from a Beacon device, the device creates a connection with the phone. This can facilitate the launching of an app or the sending of data appropriate to the location.
According to NTT Resonant research, 10/1/2015.
(Screenshots of Nikko Guide powered by goo:http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M101547/201509304132/_prw_OI1fl_F2e7367G.jpg)
The number of foreign tourists to Japan has increased in recent years, with 2014 marking a new record high number of people. (*3) With the Tokyo Olympics, the world’s largest sporting event, scheduled to take place in 2020, it is predicted that this number will continue to rise. There is a growing need to convey information about these tourism locations and stores to visiting tourists.
Reference: Japan National Tourism Organization, Number of Visitors to Japan by Month and Nationality, 2003-2015(http://www.jnto.go.jp/jpn/reference/tourism_data/pdf/2013_15_tourists.pdf)
2. Proof of Concept Overview
Using 113 Beacon devices set up at the Shrines and Temples of Nikko, focused around Futarasan Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple, and other sightseeing locations, we will send data to tourists at each location, providing them with tourism information about their current locations along with photos and comments provided by other users. Tourists can receive the data using the smartphone app Nikko Guide powered by goo.
B. Implementation Period
From October 1, 2015 until December 28, 2015.
Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
3. About the App: Tourism Guide powered by goo
A. Special Features
- Notifications conveying tourism and shopping information about the current locationAs users approach a location with a Beacon device, information about the location and its shops will be sent automatically. This way, tourists can learn the details of their current location without worrying about missing something.
- Sharing pictures and comments from other users who have actually visited that locationIn the app, users can share photographs of and comments about locations with a Beacon device. Travelers can share among each other useful information that may not appear in tourism guides such as “There are bathrooms you can use,” “There’s a smoking area,” “There are people who speak English” and “There’s a free Wi-Fi hotspot.”
- Language SupportTourism and shopping information will be supported in four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. (This functionality is available for Android. It is planned to be available later for iOS.)
- Prevention of Camera Theft and MisplacementThe app can be connected to cameras equipped with Beacons that are available for use at hotels in the Nikko area including Nikko Senhime Monogatari, Nikko Kanaya Hotel, and Nikko Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel. An alert notification will be sent to the app if a camera reaches a certain distance. This way, the risk of loss of the cameras can be lessened.