Using 360 live video and augmented reality in event production

The City of Helsinki is seeking new innovations in event operations with its partners Helsinki XR Center, Fullsteam Agency and Elisa. By using new technology, we wish to find ways to enrichen the comprehensive event experience of visitors.

According to the Helsinki City Strategy, Helsinki is and will remain a diverse and attractive city for hosting events. It guarantees that it will create conditions for interesting events and offer accessible premium culture. To achieve these goals, using new technology is key. The event industry has been under immense pressure due to the restrictions related to the ongoing pandemic, which, for its part, has increased demand for increasingly diverse event experiences. The environmental sustainability of events is another theme on which the City will focus increasingly, in addition to social and economic sustainability.

In international comparison, the City of Helsinki is one of the pioneering cities in terms of extensive publicly accessible commercial 5G networks. The City has determinedly built cooperation related to 5G development with operators and solution providers. 5G networks allow for increasingly rapid and reliable data transfer and low latency. Sending 360 live video is an excellent example of an application where these features are implemented.

Since 2019, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and FIVR (the Finnish Virtual Reality Association) have operated the Helsinki XR Center in Arabianranta. It is one of Europe’s leading development centres for new technology, and it supports the field of Finnish small and medium sized enterprises and research, in particular.

One of the new technologies with the most potential is AR (Augmented Reality). Via a selected device (usually a smartphone or tablet), AR provides the user with real-time image of the environment with digital information embedded as text, image, audio, video or animation. One of the best-known and pioneering applications of this technology is Pokémon Go, which has attracted millions of players for years now. The vast potential of AR is based on the fact that, at its simplest, you only need a conventional smartphone to use this technology. As such, the userbase of these applications may be very large, since anyone can try them without having to buy expensive equipment. This also allows them to be used as a part of mass events, since people often use their phone during events anyway. This way, brand new elements can be added to the event experience to improve the visitor experience before, during and after the event, and they also allow for improved community spirit among the audience via digital elements.

Photo: Sideways / Antti Närhi

Fullsteam Agency Oy is an event agency and an organiser of concerts and festivals held in Helsinki. Over the years, Fullsteam Agency has brought almost 2,000 international artists or bands to Finland, in addition to which the agency also represents about a hundred Finnish artists. Fullsteam Agency organises concerts at clubs, arenas and stadiums, provides programme content for almost all venues in Finland, and books a large percentage of the international artists seen at festivals in Finland. In addition to this, the company organises the established Provinssi festival in Seinäjoki and the Sideways event at Nordis, Helsinki.

Since 2015, Fullsteam Agency has been a part of FKP Scorpio, the leading festival organiser and one of the largest concert promoters in Europe.

Elisa has commercialised several new 5G services, many of which have been the first in the world, by using 360 live video and AR. Elisa 5G ensures that new technology can be used in event production through Finland’s broadest 5G network, which covers 90% of the population in Finland’s largest cities.

The pilot providers will have access to 5G experts and testing opportunities, XR experts and event industry professionals.

What is being procured?

The City will procure a pilot or pilots where additional value will be created for various public events through 5G, AR and camera technologies. The solutions to be tested may be related to event implementation, enriching the user experience, or environmental sustainability.

The pilot entries are expected to be related to a diverse festival where music plays the main role, but which also involves other event elements. Other such elements may include other programme content, activities, food and beverage services and logistics. The pilot ideas may involve enriching the gig experience in various ways, a personalised and shareable festival experience, a virtual and real-time area map, or participation and communality.

With the companies selected for the pilot, the product will be developed during a three-month development period. As a result of the service, a functional solution will be built, which will realise the utilisation and suitability of the technology as a part of a public event. The more extensive implementation of the most suitable pilot as a part of the Sideways festival will be discussed with the solution providers after the pilot period has ended.

17–18 November At the Match XR event held by Helsinki XR Center, select companies will be given the opportunity to present their solution to a broader audience as a part of the largest XR event in the Nordic region.

The maximum total value possible for the procurement is €50,000 (VAT 0%). A maximum of three entries will be selected for development. The maximum value of a single pilot is €20,000 (VAT 0%). The City may also decide to not start a pilot with any company.

Timetable:

The tendering will open on 15 September 2021.

You can send questions by noon 25 September 2021 to tapani.nevanpaa@hel.fi. The answers will be published by 29 September 2021 on this page.

The tendering will close on Friday 8 October at 16:00 Finnish time.

Based on the assessment criteria, the 3–5 most suitable solutions will be invited to the pitch day held on 14 October 2021. The meetings during pitch day will be 30-minute one-on-one meetings between the Tenderer and Clients.

The aim is to decide on the selections by 22 October 2021.

Want to hear more?

  • Tapani Nevanpää

  • Senior Advisor
    5G, IoT and Data
    City of Helsinki
    Economic Development: Innovations and New Experiments