Showcasing the Port of the Future

A hub for technical innovation

Portopolis is Port of Antwerp’s visitor centre, located at the base of the MAS museum. Their mission—and subsequently ours: showcasing the port’s finest features to the broader public, solidifying its image as a hub for technological innovation and attracting interesting employee profiles. Furthermore, Portopolis wants to offer its visitors a comprehensive view of the port’s enormous 13000+ acre surface area, right from its location on the edge of it. A challenge we were more than proud to accept.

Digitally enhanced experience

A visitor’s digital experience starts even before entering the pavilion, as a motion sensor tracks pedestrians when they stroll past the building. Their movement triggers a video wall that shows time-lapses of the port’s impressive skyline to invite passersby inside, next to opening hours, upcoming events and additional visitor info.

©Inneke Gebruers

Personal multimedia guide

Once inside Portopolis, every visitor is welcomed with a personal Augmented Reality tablet. This tablet, equipped with Image Recognition, will be their personal digital guide in the experience centre. It will bring movement and life to all of the photos, maps and graphics they will discover.

An interactive, comprehensive view of the port

The detailed aerial photo of the port that covers the entire first floor cannot only be used to pull up information on the port’s key locations, nature reserves and other hotspots. Visitors can also follow the trajectories of familiar products as they travel into, through, and out of the port. To boot, 3D animations put visitors between seagulls and ocean giants, quite literally!

©Inneke Gebruers

And rewarding experience

We prove that learning new things should be fun, by implementing a few mechanics of gamification into the visit. Aiming the AR tablet at 3D-printed objects related to Innovation launches a pop quiz on the theme represented by the object. For every lesson learned, visitors are treated to a joyful 3D animation.

With take-aways for the visitor…

After going in, visitors should be inspired to discover more on the outside too. The touristic aspects of the port are beautifully portraited in cinemagraphs that draw attention to ship tracking, bird watching or discoveries by bike. Portopolis is only the first step to becoming a true harbour master – but if you’re eager to see if the captain’s hat would fit, the AR-filters in our greenkey photobooth can already give a first impression!

©Inneke Gebruers

… and prospects for Port of Antwerp

A port is more than the ships or the docks they moor onto—it’s the people. Visitors can strike up a conversation with these skilled professionals by linking their tablet to the Portrait Wall. Asking questions on energy, nature or the future, they can participate in a chat between dockers, engineers or any of the other characters. For this set-up, we used directional sound to make sure you’re right in the middle of the conversation. Visitors asking themselves how their talent could fit in this monumental organisation can check out resumés, profiles and job descriptions that shine a light on the port’s diverse and often surprising job opportunities.

©Inneke Gebruers

Our role as a multidisciplinary partner

Boasting a healthy dose of challenges for both hardware engineering and content production, clear communication with different stakeholders was key in this project.

We provided hands-on content management tools to match the ever-evolving nature of Port of Antwerp, but also collaborated closely with their IT team to provide integration with authentication mechanisms, CRM platforms and smart building API’s. All of it built on our tailored CREATIVE CORE® platform, of course. Portopolis’ employees can now easily adapt the content on the digital guides as they see fit.

©Inneke Gebruers

In collaboration with Bailleul Design Agency & Bruns

Bailleul Design Agency invented and designed the visitor centre and AR applications

Pictures by Inneke Gebruers 

CREATE Studio: digital development & design

CREATE Systems: hardware integration & support