Locative Lab

researching locative media

Finnish Town has Culture on the go with Mobiles

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Fancy a dose of culture in the Finnish city of Oulu? All you need is a mobile phone.

Get theatre tickets digitally, download a smart video trailer of how the play was directed, order and pay for snacks for the interval and, after a culture-packed night, order a taxi home — all by just swiping a cellphone over smart tags placed on the menus or around the foyer of the theatre.

The Oulu City Theatre in northern Finland, 600 kilometers (373 miles) north of Helsinki, says it is the world’s first cultural institution to use the hippest handset technology, expected to turn mobile phones into wallets.

“It is often said that theatre is somehow old-fashioned. I’m hoping this will build the opposite picture,” the head of Oulu City Theatre, Ahti Ahonen, told Reuters.

NFC (near-field communication) technology is activated by waving phones over wireless readers, or smart tags, and is widely used in public transport access cards.

“The cultural world should also keep abreast with the latest technological developments,” Ahonen said.

The theatre is running a pilot, involving technology from Finnish mobile phone-maker Nokia and telecommunications operator TeliaSonera , until the year-end and will extend its usage more widely if it proves successful.



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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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