A 3D virtual reality video game to promote the potential of smart cities. The Smart Beetles’ app is a playful tool for people to know where the services of a city are located.
For this, the game proposes a mission as simple as keeping the streets clean, through several levels. The proposal has been implemented using Unity3D, OpenStreetMaps and ESRI City Engine, and has had the collaboration of the company Pixelder.com. The first version of the game can now be downloaded for free on the App Store and on Google Play, while the creators work on integrating services in real time, the academic institution said in a statement.
The researchers of the Institute of New Image Technologies, Nacho Miralles and Sonia Gil have created this project, whose results have been published in the Workshop on Open Data for Open Cities and Geogames at the Conference on Geoinformation Science, held to Wageningen (Holland).
This video game requires a specific design for each city where it wants to be implanted. The first prototype of Smart Beetles has modeled the city of San Diego (United States), since the ‘app’ was presented in this Californian town within the ESRI User Conference, as explained by the professor of the Department of Languages and Computer Systems of the UJI Francisco Ramos.
Smart Beetles promotes ‘smart cities’ because «it allows us to know the services offered by a city playing, so that its use is enhanced» in a more intelligent way by citizens «, the researcher highlighted. It presents technological innovations relevant to science, such as the integration of city data with the video game engine.
Smart Cities are currently growing due to their performance and efficiency. «With this type of videogames, Ramos comments, he hopes that the educational and playful aspects will gain more weight and be able to integrate in this environment. «» We do not want cities to be only more efficient; we work so that, in addition, they are more fun, «he says.