NEMUS FUTURUM

ClientMETSÄ GROUP
Category A02. Applied Innovation
TitleNEMUS FUTURUM
Product/ServiceMETSÄ GROUP / SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY
Entrant MKTG Helsinki, FINLAND
Idea Creation MKTG Helsinki, FINLAND
Idea Creation 2 GREAT APES Helsinki, FINLAND
Production MKTG Helsinki, FINLAND
Production 2 GREAT APES Helsinki, FINLAND
Credits
Name Company Position
Anni Silamo MKTG Finland Oy Senior Account Director
Julius Meriläinen MKTG Finland Oy Senior Designer
Laura Mutka MKTG Finland Oy Producer
Markku Kirves MKTG Finland Oy Head of Video
Valtteri Santala Great Apes / HiQ Producer, Account Director
Niko Sipilä Great Apes / HiQ Creative Director
Constantin Freche Great Apes / HiQ Lead Designer
Mikko Saario Great Apes / HiQ Lead Developer
Mirnes Selimovic Great Apes / HiQ Developer
Johanna Tyrkkö Great Apes / HiQ Designer, Illustrator
Mikko Lahti Fake Graphics 3D Designer

Why is this work relevant for Innovation?

Nemus Futurum is a new definition of a smart space. It’s the most immersive stakeholder PR campaign in the Finnish forest industry and at the same time it’s edutainment. An interactive and comprehensive visitor experience showcasing sustainable forest management and the Finnish forests in a completely new way through cutting edge technology used at an actual location – a working commercial forest estate. Visitors will also experience how sustainable forest management has an effect on the climate and forest biodiversity. The app uses various methods to provide a curated digital experience in the awe-inspiring forest setting of Kirkniemi.

Background

For a project like Nemus Futurum there were no prior benchmarks to draw inspiration or execution ideas from. Augmented Reality obviously had been a lot, but not usually in challenging outdoor conditions and not that contextually. Since we were working with an invite-only exclusive experience, we had full control of the hardware used. The most challenging parts were the changing weather conditions (light, temperature etc.) that needed a lot of optimization. Another challenge was the extremely varied learning curve of AR for different visitors. We also needed the app to work as an extension of the tour guide, so it was run in single app mode with GPS unlocking content based on location.

Describe the idea

One of the main reasons of climate change is the use of fossil fuels and more precisely the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. The more efficiently a tree grows the more effectively it stores carbon dioxide. Forests are a renewable source of raw materials and energy. And sustainable forestry strives towards the most efficient growth. Nemus Futurum was created to illustrate this concept and the 80-year life cycle of a commercial forest. At Nemus Futurum visitors are guided through all significant stages of an 80-year forest cycle. All visitors are provided a tablet with a bespoke app installed at the beginning of the tour. The app uses various methods such as GPS tracking and AR to provide a curated digital experience in the awe-inspiring forest of Kirkniemi. ARkit and the Unity engine was combined into a native iOS app and ran on iPad Pro to maximize performance and portability.

What were the key dates in the development process?

December 2018 – Concept work begins Winter 2019 – first prototypes ready Early spring 2019 – first tests at the forest begin Summer 2019 – Construction of roads and rest stops start at Kirkniemi Forest June 2019 – First trial tours and training the tour guides August 2019 – First invited visitors take the tour

Describe the innovation / technology

The Nemus Futurum visitor app is completely contextual in relation to the multiple locations (stages of sustainable forestry) the tour features. This required that the app was designed as an extension of the tour guide and restricting more free-form use. While at the tour the app uses GPS tracking to initiate content. When people are moving from one destination to another the app locks all content into a sort of ‘transit mode’. When the GPS location of device is within a certain radius it unlocks the content for the aforementioned location. Augmented reality was used to showcase both the passage of time within the forest cycle as well as things unseen to the naked eye, such as CO2. We used custom markers to launch the AR experience to give us full control on placement of objects. Every AR scene used was optimized for contrast, legibility etc. to withstand the changing outdoor weather conditions. We also optimized the experiences using programmed shaders and particle animations for more complex time-lapses, featuring a fairly complicated tree. This would not have been possible with the performance capabilities of the traditional 3D models.

Describe the expectations / outcome

After the successful soft launch of Nemus Futurum this year we expect the interest for the visitor center to grow in 2020. It is already one of the most talked about endeavors in the Finnish forest industry this year. We believe the ‘edutainment’ approach of Nemus Futurum is suitable for many other business areas within Metsä Group and our iOS-based AR framework will be used in other Metsä Group projects in the future. Experimental, but intelligently executed and precisely targeted promotional work like Nemus Futurum help cement Metsä Group’s reputation as the most progressive operator in its field.