Potential market

SECTION I: The product


The innovation potential of this product is related to:


  • Technology-driven innovation (under the influence of the development of science – the market is not ready for the product)
  • Market-driven innovation (as a result of market surveys, the market expects the product)
  • Replacement of existing product
  • Product related to cost reduction
  • Radical new product
  • Other, what…


User aware virtual museum is a market driven innovation. The creation of a virtual educational museum which unifies cultural information from various EU countries in a common framework was also envisioned in the NEOTHEMI (the new Network Of Thematic Museums and Institutes) EU collabo- rative project . In NEOTHEMI physically-distant cultural content, such as objects, texts and artifacts, coming from ten different European countries but belonging to a number of common themes is made available to the general public via the Internet. The virtual museum uses VRML to present the cultural content to users in a realistic and engaging way, allowing them to freely wander through the museum’s thematic pavilions. The results of a dedicated online survey conducted on users who are either teachers or students revealed that they are relatively positive on using Virtual Museums for accessing geographically distributed cultural content via the Internet, provided that certain technical difficulties are compromised (e.g. speed of access). The 3D-MURALE project is developing and using mul- timedia tools to measure, reconstruct and visualize archaeolog- ical ruins in virtual reality, using as a test case the ancient city of Sagalassos in Turkey.


What added value for end-users does the product hold?
• higher quality
• Better technical characteristics
• Other …

Apart from the functionalities of content presentation, Vir- tual Wing also contains a user monitoring component which is responsible for capturing user feedback and extracting user preferences. Its main characteristics can be summarized in the following points:

Users in groups: Each user belongs to a predefined group which represents particular classes of people (e.g. adults, children, experts). This way, we can extract different statistics for the different groups of users which can be used as useful indicators of their preferences. In addition, the extraction of the groups’ interests can help us enhance the quality of the services offered to each group.

Feedback on content: We enable users to rate and comment on content, offering them ways to express their opinions on the exhibits they view. Analysis on these user evaluations can lead to assessments on the exhibits’ popularity which are a useful output for the museum administrators.

General point of view: We are also interested in users’ opinions about the system itself. To get such kind of feedback, a number of general questions are given to the users at the end of a tour. Their answers are processed by museum administrators for the purpose of future improvements in the system.






What is the Unique Sales Proposition of the potential product?

The following characteristics offer unique sales preposition

   User Settings: The ‘Select Language’ view allows users to choose between the available languages (currently Greek, English and French). This functionality can be easily extended with more languages. On the other hand, the view ‘Select Audience’ has three different types of audiences, namely: visitors, children and experts. De- pending on the selected audience type, the content and the aesthetics presented in the following screens are adjusted to meet the demands of each user’s category. Finally, if there is no information registered for the selected audience type, the system presents the content that refers to the general audience type (i.e. visitors).

   Room Selection: Users can select a virtual room in which they want to navigate to. In that screen all the available rooms of the virtual museum are presented. From this state users have the ability to transfer to a new page that shows the plan of the room with the enclosed showcases. 
• Plan of Room: That screen presents the plan of the room that was previously selected by the user. The plan of the room covers the center of the screen and shows the positions of the showcases that are placed in the actual room. By creating a panoramic view of a room we manage to present a complete representation of the respective actual museum’s room. Below the presented plan of the room, there is a number of filters, such as: Material, Class, Era, Site, and Rating. Users can select between these filters so as to highlight the showcases that respond to their needs. Finally, there is a ‘Reset’ button 
6CHIP: http://www.chip-project.org/

that allows users to return to the previous state so as to make a different filtering of the available showcases.
• Showcase Navigation: When users are on the screen which presents the plan of the room, they can click on a specific showcase. Then, a popup menu appears (‘Preview Showcase’) enabling users to have a quick review of the presented showcase. This popup contains some basic information and a representative picture of the showcase so that users can decide whether they want to view more detailed information about it as well as browse the items it contains (‘Go to Showcase’).
• Showcase: This view describes a specific showcase.

Users can see a representative image of the showcase and read a related textual description. On the left side of the screen there is a number of multimedia which enable the user to learn more about the showcase in a more exciting way. This set of multimedia consists of images, audio and videos. On the right side of the screen there is a scrolling list that contains the items of a specified showcase. When users click on the preview of a given item, a new page appears, providing more detailed information about the item (‘Item’).

• Item: This screen contains an extended description of a specific item and it has almost the same layout as the ‘Showcase’ screen. In this screen there are two new options (compared to the previous one) for the user: ‘Rate Item’ and ‘Comment on Item’. Users can express their level of likeness by assigning a grade (1 to 5) or by mak- ing comments (more than one times). Users’ comments will be visible to the other visitors after being approved by the museum administrators. Also, in this screen there is one more button, that leads to the ‘Excavation Site’ screen (see next paragraph). Finally, on the right side of the screen there is a menu with information relevant to the specific item (length, width, height, diameter, girth, class, material, era, and excavation site).

• Excavation Site: This part of the system contains in- formation about the excavation site where the respective item was found. The view of this page is similar to the ‘Showcase’ screen, except the fact that there is no any information on the right side of the screen.

• Standard Options: It is a standard panel of the virtual museum that exists in all screens except the first one. It contains the following buttons: Go Back, Go to the Start, User Manual, End of the tour.



SECTION 2: The Market




What is the target market for the product?

National ¨

European ¨

Global ¨x

Please describe the characteristics of your target market.

The latest research suggests that the Museum and Gallery has a relatively large segment of what might be called non-traditional audiences – around 50% do not appear to have any other contact with cultural institutions. We assume that these audiences visit the Museum and Gallery not because they love museums, or are ‘culture vultures’, but that they are motivated in some other way. Although there is no qualitative research exploring motivations, staff feel that the main trigger here is local pride, and the local provenance of the vast majority of the audience is marked in both sets of research used in this study. Local pride is fed by the collection in the Museum and Gallery, and given focus by the interpretation in the museum.





How the product is characterized from the following options? Number of companies producing similar products in the field.

• Base – applied by all companies in the industry

• Leading – applied by a single or limited number of competitive companies

• Key –at a development stage, but has already proven its potential

Lately, Google has launched the Google Art Project which is an online compilation of high-resolution images of artworks from galleries worldwide, as well as a virtual tour of the galleries in which they are housed. The project includes works in the Tate Gallery, London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City and the Uffizi, Florence. Seventeen galleries and museums were included in the launch of the project. The 1,061 high-resolution images (by 486 different artists) are shown in 385 virtual gallery rooms, with 6, 000 Street View- style panoramas. Recently, there has been rising research interest on the presentation of personalized museum-related content to users of various backgrounds in the context of virtual museums . A method for providing personalized views to online museum visitors in the context of virtual theme-related tours. The proposed visualization technique is based on agent technology and graph theory and allows some freedom to users who interact with the system in order to make decisions on what to see next. Emphasis is put on the provision of personalized museum tours to both online (e.g. infokiosk) and on-site (PDA) visitors.



What type of market demand will be satisfied?

• Existing demand – the market is already developed

• hidden (latent) demand – the market has yet to be developed

In the case of museums, the contribution of marketing is based on adopting the assumption that museums are ‘goods’ in relation to certain target markets, satisfying their needs, demands and expectations and also contributing to the economic and cultural development of cities. Introducing marketing to the museums is related to the attempt to address the following four factors: a) the extended international development of museums, b) the search for economic resources, c) the competitive environment between the museums, and d) the need of the museums to know better their visitors. Some examples of demands are described in the following cases:

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Virtual tours of a number of exhibits at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Metropolitan Museum of Art


Virtual tours of current exhibitions at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art


American Museum of Natural History


Virtual tours of the American Museum of Natural History


Library of Congress


Virtual tours of the Library of Congress


Colonial Williamsburg


Tour Colonial Williamsburg


The Louvre


Virtual tours of Paris’ Louvre






What is the current stage of the product’s market life cycle?

• Implementation, implementation in production (leading to a radically new product offers)

• Growth (rapid spread within the industry or outside it)

• maturity (parameters of the technical characteristics of manufactured products reached their maximum, higher-grade products can be manufactured on the basis of technological substitution)

In contrary to existed related systems, the tool offers an active role to users which are not just content ‘consumers’ but they also contribute to the system by providing valuable feedback. Users can show their preferences on the exhibits by rates, express their viewpoints by posting comments on them, and provide their general opinions about the system itself through questionnaires. The analysis of all this provided information may lead to useful outcomes for museum administrators in terms of content popularity and the system’s services. Therefore, we believe that with the proposed system, virtual museums can take one step ahead in the ultimate objective of providing better user experience.




Strategic partnerships (existing or potential).

ICOM stands for International Council of Museums. It is an organisation that was created in 1946 by and for museum professionals. ICOM works for society and its development and is committed to guaranteeing the conservation, continuation and protection of cultural goods.  ICOM has five main missions: to establish standards of excellence, to lead a diplomatic forum, to develop a professional network and to lead a global think tank and carry out international missions. You will find more details about ICOM and its missions on the following pages:





SECTION 3: The Competition


What is the competition within your target market?

RTV virtual tour software http://www.realtourvision.com/

Tech virtual tour http://www.gatech.edu/vtour/

Regal 360 http://www.regal360.com/

Vue technologies http://www.vue-tech.com/



What competitive advantages will the introduction of the new product ensue?

• lower prices based on lower production costs

• product differentiation (uniqueness of the product proposal)

Time and time again experience has taught that systems that treat the majority of their users as one group would have various problems at satisfying their preferences as well as their interests. Each person has a unique personality and therefore items or information that might interest one may have significantly less value to another. Therefore, a good practice is to divide the system’s users into groups and provide each user with information and items that interested his peers. The ‘Virtual Wing’ chose to make use of this idea by separating its users into groups. Since there is no information about the people making use of the system initially, a grouping based on implicitly collected data of one’s preferences is not possible. Thus, the next best alternative was to split our users based on age and knowledge background, ending up in three distinct groups: children, visitors and experts.

Visitor’s grouping has been used in the past to serve the needs of museums. In a previous work [16], visitors would be divided into two categories, frequent and infrequent. This was done in order to provide the former with more material about the exhibits as well as more time, while avoiding to overwhelm the latter with information they did not want. This grouping was intended purely on maximizing the reward/effort ratio of the museum, with reward being the satisfaction of the museum’s visitors. In another work , groups were recognized and created based on the individuals’ age or interest in art. This was done to compare the accuracy of recommendations made to each group of users.

In the related works it was proven that grouping users would indeed facilitate people into finding their interests when they themselves would not know about them yet. Although grouping was not adopted by the museums that participated in the research, the results pointed out the importance of dividing users into groups. Nonetheless, there was no grouping based on the combined characteristics of age and expertise; a gap that Virtual Wing comes to fill in.



Potential products relate to the following price range:

• High price range

• Average price range

• Low price range

The tedency for cots reduction imposes low price positioning strategies.  In recent decades, the idea of museums as imposing buildings with extended and tiresome exhibitions has begun to fade. Nowadays, small-scale museums that offer flexible and alternative exhibitions are being particularly developed. Moreover, they have a classic educational character and offer entertaining activities. An important additional factor in the contemporary perspective of museums is the change from more institutional exhibitions to those that create social, creative and participatory experiences which are more approachable for the wider audience (young people), organised tours that include interaction between the visitors and the exhibits, brochures and leaflets, information, maps, guides and copies of their exhibits, coffee shops and restaurants inside the museum and a specially trained personnel, ‘packages’ offering better prices for families and tourists, the location and architecture of the building, and carefully designed websites on the internet.




Potential products will be marketed:

• To regulated markets (e.g. heat supply, water supply, universal telecommunication services, agricultural products, fishing industry, architectural services)

• To markets operating on the principle of free negotiation between agents on the market

The market is operated under free negotiations.


SECTION 4: Indicators


Estimated cost of the new products


Expected market volume (potential / maximum number of users)


Expected sales volume


Expected market share of the company (proportion between sales and total company sales in the relevant market)





Please put X as appropriate.






Added-value potential                   






Size of future market demand






Competitive positioning of the product                 







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