Digital Paths

Trail #1 Heritage & Culture
Technological innovation, digital city & daily service

Since June 2012, Arles (55 000 inhabitants - 2 million tourists per year) has become a pilot digital city. It hosts The Digital Paths, an urban communication solution comprising innovative technologies, which create a new way of experiencing the city. This state-of-the-art communication system combines innovation (QR Code, Smartphone, connected networks) and the latest digital practices (information sharing, rich and entertaining content, localized communication).
Innovation award winner of the 2013 Mayors’ trade fair, labelled Marseille Provence 2013 and shortlisted in March 2012 by the Ministry of Culture and Communication in the call for projects "innovative cultural digital services",
The Digital Paths are establishing themselves more than ever as an innovative urban communicative device.

Follow the guide!

By covering the doors of ERDF’s (the French utility provider) electrical cabinets, the Tabaluz (smart bright tablets) embellish the city’s façades. A clever installation with a harmonious design that gives a new purpose to existing, yet meaningless street furniture. In a total of 16, their regular set up outlines a new trail inviting for a stroll across the streets of Arles.

Signposts of a new kind

The Tabaluz is a bright colourful screen (the result of interlaced fibre optics and LEDs) that displays information to residents and tourists. Defined in collaboration with the city’ s cultural and economic players, the content of each Tabaluz is enriched with QR codes, gateways towards rich virtual content (video, audio, games, photos, 3D, cartoons, vouchers, etc.), and is smartphone and digital tablet friendly (50% of internet connections in 2013).
Digital technology allows for new experiences: listen to the podcast of a band about to perform that very same evening,play and learn about current exhibitions, discover each month via videosb> booksellers’ favourites, enjoy unique panoramas, take part in a giant reasure hunt, get access to audio guided tours, report a closed street or even the birth of your latest child.
Walls become an urban news medium. They provide people with hyper-local information. Tourism is boosted.

A responsive urban media

The Digital Paths define themselves as an editorialized urban media. Should they allow to iscover local heritage or the neighbourhood’s life, each Tabaluz provides unique information in relation with its immediate surroundings.
As the news evolves, the content follows and the Tabaluz are regularly updated. Christmas, festivals, exhibitions, Mother's Day... Each new event is an opportunity to create a themed trail and support in a fun and effective way Arles’ cultural life.

What about tomorrow ?

Tested and currently running in Arles, this service is expected to be launched in other cities (several cities have already shown their interest).