THE PUBLIC LINK

Smart local administration using IoT, AI, VR and Machine Learning tools.

Duration: October 2021 – March 2023

Total budget: EUR 0,1M – financed by EU 50 %

Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia budget: 90 000 € – financed by EU 50 %

The identity of the coordinator: European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology (ERNACT)

Introduction

The focus of The Public Link (TPL) is to test the new technologies in the provision of public services.

This involves the use of virtual/augmented reality (VR / AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning approaches.

TPL will offers a common communication platform for all six partners.

One of the essential components of the platform includes virtual reality common environments built on Social VR solutions. These types of interactions require special interfaces in the form of VR headsets to allow participants to immerse themselves and interact in VR environments.

Virtual Reality Meeting. Four Avatars are discussing together.
Image: Virtual Meeting by Oculus / Meta Quest 2 headphones with two controllers

The project is designed to run in three major cycles.

The relevant framework and toolset are developed with strong participation from relevant stakeholders especially the local governments involved directly in the project. Every cycle includes both technical & methodological development as well as workshops and training sessions with partners and stakeholders.

This is to ensure maximum usability of essential assets and availability of skills and capacity to use them effectively by local governments and a broader set of stakeholders.

The project has started with a series of online workshops where digital tools are tested. The first solution tested by the partners is the online communication platform Discord.

In the first part of the TPL project, we have tested various social digital tools. These can support the collaboration to create planned services in the different areas.

In the second part of the workshops, we specifically looked at XR (eXtended Reality).

In the third part, we will present the result of the project, Fram’s digital guide. The customer starts the guide on their own mobile device. Chat guidance starts with a QR code. The chat opens a map application that takes the customer to the location he is looking for.

This is an example of what it takes to provide effective AI services to residents.