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Messukeskus Helsinki to launch the world’s first large-scale AR application intended for the general public

Messukeskus Helsinki exterior signage

Starting from the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair, augmented reality will be part of the exhibition experience

Starting from the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair in January, Augmented Reality, or AR, will be a permanent part of the customer experience at Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre. This is the first commercial AR application to be used in Finland. The AR solution introduced by Messukeskus is also the first fully immersive AR solution in the world to be implemented in such a large-scale environment.

AR incorporates computer-generated virtual images into the real world, providing a seamless customer experience. The Pokémon Go frenzy seen last summer gave the general public a hands-on experience of augmented reality.

AR will be used live for the first time at the Travel Fair in January, and from then on at all Messukeskus events. The application will be launched in cooperation with Immersal software company. The AR solution implemented at Messukeskus is like a consumer-friendly version of VR: no goggles or glasses required - all you need is a smartphone or a tablet. Initially, the application will be available in Apple smart phones and tablets, and soon in Android devices.

Messukeskus is one of the few AR pioneers in Finland, and will be the first international trade fair industry player to fully embrace augmented reality.

“This is the first commercial AR application in Finland. Our solution is also the first fully immersive AR solution in the world to be implemented in such large-scale. Visitors will be offered a wide range of experiences and services. AR can help visitors find the things that interest them the most, whether it’s an interesting stand, a favourite restaurant, a programme venue, or a friend attending the event. AR adds a Wow factor to the event with new content and entertainment,” says Maria Mroue, Messukeskus Director of Marketing and Communications.

For exhibitors, AR offers enhanced visibility outside their own stand. Gaming and related insights can be used to get visitors hooked. AR covers a variety of elements, such as virtual posters, animation, games, interactivity, or guidance.

The AR-market is predicted to total USD 120 billion and to engulf most of the AR/VR market by 2020.

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