Cast your vote for Jordanian young entrepreneur in global innovation competition

Taking tourism to the next level through the use of augmented reality: Jafar Al-Badarneh’s "ARtour" concept, developed under the ENPI CBC Med funded "International Augmented Med" project, will represent Jordan in the annual Global Innovations through Sciences and Technology competition "GIST-TECH-I 2018" led by the U.S. Department of State.

It is no secret that the Mediterranean region is home to one of the richest and most diverse cultural heritage in the world with thousands of archeological sites and museums showcasing a millenary history. In a time of digital change, maintaining the attractiveness of the Mediterranean as a top tourist destination in fierce global competition can be bolstered through the use of cutting-edge technologies.

This is exactly what Jafar Al-Badarneh, a young entrepreneur from Jordan, had in mind when he started working on the "ARtour" concept. Since we all carry a Smartphone in our pocket, Jafar thought that this was the best means to reconnect people with their heritage and deliver a brand-new visiting experience.

Using Augmented Reality (AR) technology, Jafar developed an app allowing tourists experience places they visit in a much more meaningful way with digital overlays containing interactive information about the culture or history of a specific site. For example, when visiting an archeological site, Augmented Reality allows to scan or take photos of ruins, and bring them to their original state.

As tourism is an important source of income for Jordan, the main problem that faces this industry is the lack for a decent interpretation tools. "Interpretation tools used in heritage and archeological sites - mainly brochures, tourist-guides - are obsolete and result in a very low visitor-retention. With ARtour, the objective is to deliver an AR-based interpretation tool that will enrich the visitors’ experience and definitely encourage them to come back," explains Jafar. “Rather than looking at the history, ARtour actually offers the opportunity to live the history.” 

The initial phase of the "ARtour"concept was made possible thanks to the support of ENPI CBC Med funded "International Augmented Med" project to which Jafar actively participated with the Jordan University of Science and Technology. "This experience has built a huge determination inside me to take [ARtour] into a reality," said Jafar on Facebook. During his time with the I AM project, Jafar had had the unique opportunity to work with students, mentors, experts from Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Spain and Tunisia. "Joining the I AM project was one of the best decisions in my life," says Jafar.

Jafar’s concept has been selected as part of the semi-finals of the Global Innovations through Sciences and Technology competition "GIST-TECH-I 2018", the annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide led by the U.S. Department of State.

"All I need now is your votes to support me representing Jordan and make it to the finals,"says Jafar. Visit Jafar’s Facebook profile to learn more how to cast your vote

More information
Augmented Reality: video presentation