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Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Kutxa Ekogunea Park will have the country’s first “talking tourist information eco-panels”

2016.01.26

Woodtalk is a new interactive information eco-panel designed to improve the experience of local visitors and tourists.

It is the first project of its kind in the country, aimed at enhancing the information that users receive, making it easier to understand and learning about their preferences

TECNALIA, Protec the exterior timber manufacturers, Galemys the environmental consultancy firm and the Osoak the Special Employment Centre for Electronic Circuits have joined forces to create information eco-panels that allow users to learn in a fun way that is easy to understand. This is the Woodtalk project, which has been launched in Kutxa Ekogunea Park, the first in the country to have these panels which allow users to discover soundscapes through a combination of images, sound recordings and augmented reality content.

Innovative technology and a groundbreaking project.

Woodtalk is the result of an innovative R&D project, a technological development of its own design, from the timber used to the electronics and manufactured entirely in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. Using sustainable local timber and a renewable energy supply, this development is designed to be enjoyed by the whole family. The project was created by PROTEC, which had completed several projects for specially adapted routes, such as that in Arantzazu. Signs that were specially adapted for functionally diverse people were included on these routes: with texts in braille, embossed drawings etc. As the text had to be repeated in several languages (Basque, Spanish and braille in both languages), it had to be shortened so that it did not occupy too much visual space on the panel.   In addition, interestingly, on one of the panels about the Great tit (a local bird) the sound it makes was transcribed with the text “Txi-Txi-pan” written on the panel.

When it heard about TECNALIA’s technology for creating “smart environments” it identified an opportunity to make “talking panels”, making it possible to use far less written text and include additional languages such as English and French for tourists who visit us, as well as significantly enhancing the information provided through sound recordings and augmented reality content. Subsequently, during the development of the R&D project, many more benefits were achieved:

·         Interactive panels that make it possible to provide different information based on the user’s choices, interactive games so that you can learn by playing and soundscape applications.

·         Multilingual panels with audio, visual, touchscreen and easy-to-understand information.

·         They proactively attract attention with presence sensors.

·         Augmented reality applications for expanded content on mobile devices.

·         Self-powered panels with solar panels, so no engineering work is required to connect them to the grid.

·         Panels made from local timber with sustainable forest management certification, complying with environmental and sustainability criteria.

Woodtalk also provides the manager of the environment with information about usage, preferences and capacity, measuring the number of queries, times of use, length of each session and the number of times that they have been listened to in each language, and much more. The technology developed has numerous applications for tourism: environmental interpretation, cultural heritage, museums etc.

They are information and interpretation panels that are fun, educational and can be used for advertising. Customisable and with variable content, which can even change automatically according to the season.

 

Now found in the Kutxa Ekogunea open park

The first prototypes of the audio-guide panels manufactured entirely in the Basque Country have been installed in Kutxa Ekogunea Park. One of the panels, “Zabalaga wants to live up to its name”, tells us about the history of the Zabalaga stream, which was made to flow along a concrete canal and soon recovered its natural space. With very little intervention, Kutxa Ekogunea has facilitated this process by planting plants that are typical of streams and the banks are now being colonised by countless invertebrates which in turn attract frogs, birds and even martens.

Another panel: “How to turn waste into humus and purified water” talks about how our wastewater treatment plant works. In Ekogunea, the raw sewage undergoes a process of aerobic treatment which involves red worms and nitrifying bacteria. The process consumes little energy, instead of waste, it produces humus to fertilise the plants, it does not smell and the resulting water can be discharged directly into our stream. Our goal is to give back the water provided by nature in the best possible condition and demonstrate a suitable treatment model for villages, farmhouses and other facilities that cannot be connected to the water treatment network.

Both panels offer two levels of information: basic and technical, in Basque, Spanish, English and French, the first with a series of games and the second with additional information. After listening to and seeing the explanations of both processes with Woodtalk, the visitor can enjoy them first-hand, in Kutxa Ekogunea Park.

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Contact

Marta Fernández

T. 902 760 000


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