Learn how we applied Pindex Tours in Saint-Imier to give the city a new boost of authenticity through a unique tour for its residents.
In 2013, the municipality of Saint-Imier publishes « Saint-Imier à pied » (« Saint-Imier on foot » in French), in partnership with Jura bernois Tourisme. This 30-pages paper brochure guides visitors through the watch industry History and Architecture of the city through 2 thematic walks. A map combining the paths and points of interest of both tours shows the route to visitors while texts and images from the official center of documentation and research of the Jura bernois, Mémoires d’Ici, quenches their thirst for knowledge.
A few years later, our team offers the municipality to refresh the tours from « Saint-Imier à pied » by creating a digital version of them in a mobile app. An interactive map using geolocation will help visitors find their way more easily and naturally. At the same time, the content will be updatable in real-time, without the need to print and publish new brochures. Last but not least, the app will be free for everyone to use and will enable visitors to visit Saint-Imier more spontaneously by keeping them from getting their paper copy of the map at the local tourism office. The new project is accepted, and the new digitized tours are released just before the Summer break in 2020, slightly later than expected.
However, at Pindex, we decide not to communicate about this event. Indeed, even though we fulfilled our mandate, we deem our product only partly appropriate. As a matter of fact, texts are too long and bloat our visitors’ small smartphone screens, and pictures are not enough to compensate for this unfriendly content.
Mid-2020, we propose to the city to digitize both tours one step further to better leverage fantastic smartphone capabilities at our disposal: videos, audio files, augmented reality (AR), quizzes, mini-games, and Internet-of-Things (IoT). Again, this new idea seduces the Economics and Tourism Committee in charge of the project. Therefore, we happily and enthusiastically embark on this new adventure.
However, our core business and expertise really focus on technology, not touristic content creation. Consequently, we partner with Fluorescence, an association of cultural mediation experts, and an independent graphic designer, Sébastien Gerber. Together, they shape up and articulate new original content from Mémoires d’Ici into a complete and coherent story, embellished with testimonials from city inhabitants created especially for this project. On our side, at Pindex, we provide our technical expertise to the artists and augment our app with new media types designed to make both tours more interactive and pleasant to the visitors in Saint-Imier.
In this context, we develop the quiz, letting visitors test their knowledge about sports at the old « Magasin de Sport Rochat.» We also design a buildings detection mechanism allowing them to see the evolution of different building façades at the « Place du Marché,» through original anecdotes by a former city resident, Henri Diener. Among other scenario achievements, we mention original recordings of inhabitants telling their memories and a unique audio recording of a musical piece that a resident wrote more than 100 years ago, from which no single work had ever been transcripted digitally.
In June 2021, we release the new tour « Saint-Imier vue par ses habitants » (« Saint-Imier as seen by its residents » in French) during an official launch event receiving significant coverage from the local press. As a result, the municipality can now offer its visitors a new high-quality, original experience that will stay in the spirit of the times for a long time, thanks to its digital nature.