DIDYMOS-XR 4th plenary meeting

Importance of users and inclusivity

The DIDMYOS-XR consortium met in person on 12-14th December 2023 in Lippstadt, Germany where we were hosted by project partner Hochschule Hamm-Lippstadt (HSHL). The primary aim of this face-to-face meeting was to update on the development of the technologies underlying the digital twin capture and discuss the aligning processes necessary for creating extended reality (XR) applications. 

The first day started with the technical partners giving an update on the technical progress of the past few months. The technical tasks can be separated into 1) data capture, understanding the scene and synchronising the updates to the digital twin, and 2) rendering and localising the digital twin to make it useable and interactive in the XR applications. As the interconnections between the different stages are understood more we are able to refine the use cases to what can realistically be achieved, while still meeting the expectations and requirements of our stakeholders. 

One of the areas of focus for this meeting was understanding what we can do with XR in tourism. On the second day of the meeting we travelled to our pilot site Etteln, a small town an hour away from Lippstadt. Etteln has been a leading example for the digital transformation of villages in Germany and in Europe, showcasing how smart city concepts and ideas can be adapted and implemented in a village environment. In DIDYMOS-XR we will be creating a digital twin of Etteln which will then be piloted in our project cases for tourism and city planning. Beyond the project, the digital twin has huge potential to support the village outside of DIDYMOS-XR in the town’s efforts to take the village to the next level in smart mobility, energy, agriculture and more. 



The DIDYMOS-XR consortium went on a tour of the village to see some of the digital innovations in the town and see if these could be incorporated into the XR application we are planning for tourism in the village. The digital solutions included a battery which collects spare renewable energy from private houses in the area, an electric car that can be shared by all licensed drivers around town, and a digital hitchhiking bench allowing for better travel links to larger towns around. These innovations rely heavily on the community embracing the solutions, and the example of Etteln highlights how the uptake and value of the digital solutions is only in part reliant on the technical innovations. The other main reason for success is involving the citizens at the brainstorming and consultation stage, in collecting requirements and creating a community as part of that process. Regular workshops to keep older citizens up to date with digital innovations are held as well as practical sessions with young people who are encouraged to think beyond preconceived limits for what the town could achieve.  


Trilateral Research’s Ben Howkins sitting on a digital hitchhiking bench in our project pilot site, Etteln.

Inclusivity and stakeholder consultation is something we hold in high regard also in the DIDYMOS-XR project, which is why we have put together a stakeholder board of people from all different backgrounds and areas of life with the hope to create XR applications that are accessible, useful and valuable to the people we are designing the solutions for.  

The last day of the project meeting involved discussing the dissemination and communication activities we have planned in order to maximise the potential impact of the project and how we can achieve the high standards for inclusivity that we hold DIDYMOS-XR. If you wish to be more involved as part of the consultations for our project use cases or become a member of the stakeholder board, please get in touch via the Contact us form on the website. You can also sign up to our newsletter to receive regular updates from the project.  

By Irma Poder