Have you ever wondered what Greece’s time-worn structures looked like in their glory days? A new Greek start-up has an app for that! Marissa Tejada reports.
Learn about another Greek start-up
The economic situation in Greece has led to a virtual innovation boom in Greece, creating a plethora of Greek start-up businesses. We hope you’re enjoying this series and learning about Greek start-ups! We enjoy bringing this news to you.
Athens-based Contributing Writer Marissa Tejada is back, to tell us all about another exciting Greek start-up.
Greek start-up takes us on a virtual journey
If you’ve ever visited Greece’s archaeological sites, you’ve probably wondered what those time-worn structures looked like long ago. Well, wonder no more! Greek start-up nextCult created an app which turns your mobile phone into a window into Greece’s illustrious past.
It isn’t always easy to envision how the pillars, stone walls, or crumbling marble at any archaeological site once looked like. To enhance every moment of experiencing the most revered and storied places in Greece, a new app called Athens Time Walk enables users to see them in a different context, as new marvels in the ancient world.
The Athens-based start-up called nextCult is a leader in developing virtual reality and augmented reality (AR/VR) technology for cultural projects. The company’s goal is to make cultural sites and information more exciting through interactive forms of new technologies. Through its innovation, users can virtually wander around cities and see the world as it once was.
There’s an app for that!
The AR/VR technology that nextCult developed for Athens Time Walk is called “e-chronomichani”, and it works wonders with digitally reconstructed archaeological sites. Giannis Ladas, CEO of nextCult, explained.
“E-chonomichani came from the human need to picture an image from the past in real time and space. Now, the screen of your smart phone or tablet turns the experience of visiting an ancient site into something more interactive and immersive.”
Giannis conjured up the idea for Athens TimeWalk while at the Roman Agora of Athens. That’s where he overheard a boy tell his father that he wished he could use a time machine to look around historic places.
“That’s when I thought to explore how we, through the use of various sensors, could turn a simple mobile device into a time machine, just like the one the boy was dreaming about.”
Athens Time Walk began as part of a research project funded almost entirely by parent company Diadrasis and an EU funding program for innovative entrepreneurship.
“We think our app makes navigating ancient sites, where not much is left standing, much easier than traditional guidebooks, but also a lot more fun.”
The app also helps promote Greece’s cultural heritage as a useful tool during tours and at museums. It’s also a full guide and includes background information, historic images, and other multimedia content. Location technology enables the user to move around an archaeological site and bring up pictures of what the building originally looked like.
Giannis added that while its great to be in Athens and using it, it works when the user isn’t standing in Greece.
“By using simple motions on their screen, users sitting at home can take a virtual stroll through the ancient sites of Athens.”
This Greek start-up’s road to create the ‘Walk’
Giannis’ said the road to developing the app wasn’t an easy one.
“It has been challenging considering the lack of funding from Greek banks, the lack of foreign investors, Greece’s high taxes, an ineffective public sector, and more.”
Still, Giannis looks on the bright side.
“As the saying goes, ‘Every crisis presents an opportunity.’ There is something positive to this Greek tragedy. Since the prosperity bubble burst, we have realized that we have to work harder than ever and we can only count on ourselves.”
This Greek start-up’s app is a job creator. It’s created jobs for 10 employees working full- or part-time on the project over the past 6 years.
The future of Athens Time Walk
Athens Time Walk may be just a few months old but it has gained raving fans. Those fans have been the start-up’s inspiration to dream big. Giannis hopes to expand with more locations, eras, and other content that history lovers would appreciate. To reach these goals, his team is working with various tourist sector companies including tour operators, travel agencies, and hotels.
Looking back, Giannis said he believes success has already been reached by launching the app itself.
“The journey from that initial idea to the app’s release has been thrilling — no matter how financially successful it will turn out to be. With a hopeful and positive mindset, there will be even more success ahead for Time Walk.”
Get the WindyCity Greek Discount!
Check out Athens Time Walk today! WindyCity Greek readers with an Android smart phone can take advantage of discount codes for the full version of Athens Time Walk.
- Visit the website
- Download the free version of the Athens Time Walk app from the Google Play store.
- For the full version with all sites and content, opt to upgrade in the main menu (upper left corner).
- Enter the coupon code WCG0001 for a discount of €1
Learn about more Greek start-ups:
Follow Marissa Tejada on her blog, Travel Greece, Travel Europe; and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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