2018 is the year for Valletta to shine on the international stage as the European Capital of Culture. In the build-up to this exciting time for the city, many people and organisations were busy planning events and activities to be held in and around Valletta. As part of the many projects supporting V.18, Smart Technologies was engaged to install 10 digital interactive displays in Valletta, which would help visitors explore Malta’s historical capital and find events that are part of V.18.
Valletta had been sorely missing such technology, and in this day and age, with the prevalence of mapping apps on smartphones, it was felt that digital wayfinding technology had to become an integral part of the capital, especially considering the thousands of visitors making their way through the city for V.18. With many events taking place in the capital, these displays will make it easier for people to find their way to their desired attractions, as well as be informed of upcoming activities and soaking in some history as they walk along the streets of Valletta.
Smart Technologies took on the role of a 360-degree service provider for this project by sourcing the hardware, software systems, and also overseeing the actual installation of the displays at several key locations in Valletta. STL was involved in every step of the way, from the initial planning to the placing of the displays, allowing the company to use its full expertise and resources to bring the project to completion, in line with the original vision proposed.
The technology installed was chosen with several benefits in mind, including ease of use for visitors, the ability to offer clear and detailed information, as well as maintaining an element of interaction with the city itself. The project was co-financed by Smart Technologies, together with the Maltese government, creating a collaboration that aimed at modernising Valletta and making it more accessible for its visitors, especially considering the numerous cultural activities taking place in and around the historic capital.
These interactive displays are an innovative step for Malta, which will help elevate the capital city to the technological standards of major cities around the world. With Valletta hosting Europe’s Capital of Culture, this step was essential to ensure the city’s status as a modern and connected destination. However, these displays are not simply digital maps; they also provide relevant and timely information about their surroundings, including historical or cultural places of interest, as well as information of a more commercial nature. Keeping in mind the influx of tourists and visitors to our shores, the information is available in six different languages and can be downloaded straight onto a smartphone, making exploring Valletta an easier experience, allowing people to take in the key attractions without worrying about getting lost or missing out on important experience.
These interactive displays have been set up in strategic locations around Valletta, locations which are well-known and well-visited, such as the newly-opened Triton Square with its iconic fountain, the Valletta Waterfront, close to Parliament, the law courts, and at the Malta Experience, ensuring that a digital display is never far from reach.
The displays feature live data which is updated in real-time, keeping users synced in to all the events currently happening in Valletta, as well as marking out destinations clearly on the map. The display is very user-friendly, allowing people to quickly and intuitively use the search functionalities available. These interactive displays allow visitors to take their time as they make their way across the city and enhance their experience with real-time, context-sensitive information, which in the past could only be approximated with printed informational brochures and the like. In this way, the displays allow for a more interactive approach to discovering the city and all that it has to offer. The displays provided by Smart Technologies pave the way for a dynamic exploration of a historically-rich city like Valletta, which truly benefits from this type of wayfinding technology, giving visitors a plethora of information and resources to be able to make the most of their experience there.
Smart Technologies managed this project from its inception, all the way through to its completion, although one could say that it is now only the beginning, as the project will come to life when visitors start using the displays in reality. There won’t be long to wait as V.18 is already in full swing, and visitors will be able to make full use of this smart, innovative and interactive technology that will benefit anyone who visits Valletta, as well as helping to promote and encourage people to enjoy the V.18 activities.