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SmartGuide enhances visitor engagement with immersive AR experiences

Augmented Reality (AR) is emerging as a powerful tool to engage visitors in novel and informative ways in the tourism industry. Despite its potential, the integration of AR into existing travel experiences faces significant hurdles - the cost of content development, the requirement of specialized equipment, battery consumption issues, and a scarcity of AR expertise.

SmartGuide introduces a ready-made AR solution for tourist destinations and travel businesses designed to address these challenges head-on. The SmartGuide platform allows for the display of objects such as images, videos, 3D models, or animated figures in AR at any point of interest (POI) on devices that support AR.

Let's see how it works.

AR example A. - Geolocated photo / video
A geolocated image or video blends history into the present when viewed at the place of interest

Bridging time and space - SmartGuide's augmented reality is a leap in visitor engagement

SmartGuide's digital audio guide platform allows content creators to enhance their digital guides for both indoor and outdoor tours with elements such as historical photographs, videos, and 3D models that can be viewed in the SmartGuide app at specific GPS coordinates or by scanning visual markers like QR codes.

For example, tourists can witness the original splendor of buildings and sites, even those that no longer exist or have been reconstructed, or see historical figures walking down the street. Augmented reality allows visitors to experience a location in a way that no written guide can. Artifacts in museums can come to life through AR visualizations, ancient ruins can grow into their original glory right in front of the eyes.

How to upgrade your digital guide with AR objects in SmartGuide

There are many ways in which destinations or tourist attractions can utilize SmartGuide's AR functionality to increase the attractiveness of their content for those with compatible devices - on these mobile devices, an extra button will be visible as an AR launch icon in SmartGuide. On older phones without AR support, the POI as such will be visible, but not the AR button.

At the moment, the AR content creation requests are handled by SmartGuide's internal content team and this feature currently works only online; offline model download is not supported.

There are 3 main object types to work with:

 1. Object placed on GPS coordinates

Geolocated photo/video

  • Geolocated photos or videos are standard images or short clips that depict historical events or structures, for example.
  • These are placed at the exact location where they happened, blending seamlessly with the current reality when viewed from the place of interest through the mobile screen.
  • This feature augments the user's connection to the location and its broader context, without requiring substantial investment in content creation.

These AR objects can be readily integrated into SmartGuide in the case of photos, with some additional development required for videos upon the first order (no extra costs, just a slight delay).

Geolocated 3D object

  • This feature involves placing a static or animated 3D model at specific GPS coordinates.
  • Users can view this object from various angles, and in some cases, even go "inside" it.
  • This is especially useful for bringing to life structures that no longer exist.
  • One can either utilize pre-existing 3D models from a library or have a custom object designed.

Animated 3D objects are integrated into FBX format, while static 3D objects use the GLB format. To ensure smooth operation and consideration of mobile data usage, each model should ideally not exceed 100MB.

AR example - Geolocated 3D object

An excellent Augmented Reality example a geolocated 3D object

SmartGuide also helps travelers find these geolocated objects - the app guides them with an arrow that indicates the direction in which they should turn their phones to view the object if they are facing the wrong way.

AR example - SmartGuide helps user to find geolocated object

Another example of SmartGuide's ready-made AR solution - It helps visitors find the geolocated object

2. Object placed on a marker

  • In this case, a 3D model, photograph, or video is displayed at the location of a marker.
  • The marker can be any distinct image, such as a photograph or QR code.
  • This feature is particularly useful for indoor areas with stable lighting conditions and where GPS might not work efficiently.
  • A typical use case: animating a painting in a gallery with video to bring it to life or displaying a larger 3D model of an object so that visitors can interact with it and view it from different angles if it is not possible with the actual object.

While it can also be used outdoors, there's a need for careful selection of a "stable" marker that does not appear significantly different under varying light conditions, such as day or night, or when the sun shines from different angles. This ensures the AR objects remain consistently visible and effective in enhancing the user experience.

AR example B. - Object displayed based on marker


Static or animated 3D model, photograph, or video is displayed at a place of a marker

3. Object placed right in front of the user

  • For this feature, a 3D model, photograph, or video is displayed directly in front of the user, regardless of where they face their phone.
  • This is best used for objects that don't have a fixed position, such as an animal, car, or human avatar. For example, it can be effectively used to display a pre-recorded human avatar guide telling a story or allow the user to explore a 3D object from all sides.

With all these features, SmartGuide can provide an AR adventure that is engaging, educational, and accessible to all users.

AR example C. - Object displayed in front of user

Another example of Augmented Reality - The object placed right in front of the user

Each AR object integration comes at a one-off cost of €1000, excluding variable content preparation charges. The Prime Function, at €100 monthly, maintains up to 5 AR objects, ensuring optimal performance and up-to-date information for a superior user experience.

Engage visitors with immersive AR experiences

Engage visitors with SmartGuide's immersive AR experiences

Custom AR Experiences

SmartGuide is equipped to develop custom AR experiences that take user engagement to new
levels. One of these is the creation of Custom Interactive Avatars.

A Custom Interactive Avatar is a virtual guide created from a custom 3D model. It can display text, speak, and respond to user actions. For example, the avatar can present the user with options, and proceed based on their selection.

The tour becomes more engaging and personal with this level of interactivity. However, it's important to consider that creating custom AR interactions requires extra work and resources. Developing a custom 3D model, animating the avatar, and programming interactive elements all require specialized skills and tools. Despite the added effort, the potential benefits of custom AR experiences are significant.

SmartGuide's AR technology enhances tours and boosts business prospects

SmartGuide uses AR technology to go beyond the traditional tour experience. It overlays digital information onto the physical world, providing historical facts, directions, and multimedia content. AR-powered directions and wayfinding tools assist navigation in unfamiliar areas. By integrating AR into their services, tourist destinations and attractions can offer interactive tours that attract travelers and leave lasting memories.

Furthermore, in the fiercely competitive landscape of today's tourism industry, setting oneself apart is extremely important, and this is where SmartGuide's AR technology shines. It offers a fresh perspective, making destinations and travel businesses distinct and appealing to tech-forward travelers. This distinctive offering could lead to increased revenue as AR interactions draw in more visitors, potentially prolonging their stay or prompting additional purchases, while visitors enjoy a more informative, memorable journey.

SmartGuide's path-breaking success in AR technology adoption and recognition

SmartGuide has garnered significant recognition for its strides in the field of AR technology. The company has proven to be a cost-effective solution for travel organizations by offering high-quality, ready-made guiding technology at a fraction of custom development costs. This not only saves these organizations substantial resources but also elevates the quality of their services.

This commitment to excellence and affordability has not gone unnoticed. The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, under the EU's Programme for Support of Applied Research and Innovation SIGMA, acknowledged SmartGuide's positive impact on travel and decided to co-finance the project with a €1 Million grant.

In addition, the European Commission has recommended SmartGuide for funding, validating their efforts in promoting AR technology in the tourism sector. SmartGuide is also approved as a preferred digital travel services provider in several EU tourism project funding initiatives, such as the DigiTour, or EU Rural Tourism projects. The company was invited to present as a best practice tourism innovator at the European Tourism Forum 2022 and European Tourism Day 2023.


SmartGuide's ready-made AR solution stands out with its easy implementation, enabling destinations and tourist attractions to provide comprehensive insights into their location's history and significance, thus elevating the overall experience for visitors. It also distinguishes tourist destinations and businesses from their competitors, potentially leading to a surge in revenue and popularity.

Furthermore, SmartGuide's commitment and efforts in the AR field have been recognized and supported by esteemed organizations, further validating its positive impact on the travel industry, and paving the way for a future where technology and tourism go hand in hand.

If you're interested in seeing how SmartGuide's AR technology can benefit your destination, tourism attraction or travel business, please don't hesitate to contact us.