The Publications Office of the European Union has recently gone to tender on a contract for EUR €4,900,000 that includes the provision of applications based on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies.
The contract is split into four lots, with the VR and AR component having a total value of EUR €700,000, and involves the analysis, design, production, maintenance and assistance in the publishing of AR and VR-based applications.
The lot is technology orientated, based on hardware, applications, and techniques involving some degree of spatial tracking. According to the tender documents, the following products may be requested under the AR/VR lot:
- Virtual reality products such as simulated experiences/activities/training, 3D visualisations of environments and places, virtual visits or tours in 3D, photo-realistic 3D worlds, VR simulations of processes, fully immersive training/educational experiences, games in a VR environment, etc. to be disseminated via one or several of the following channels:
- As mobile applications published on mobile app stores (e.g. Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Oculus store or other VR stores/gaming platforms);
- As browser-based experiences for desktop and mobile operating systems (e.g. WebVR, WebXR, etc.);
- Augmented Reality products or experiences to be published via the following channels:
- As mobile apps published on mobile app stores;
- Through a browser via WebAR;
- Back-end solutions for VR/AR products if ordered together with said VR/AR products products (but not as stand-alone back-end solutions);
- Websites included in complex projects based on VR or AR technologies.
As part of the tender process, bidders must demonstrate their ability to deliver a successful solution by submitting two case studies within the fields of virtual and augmented reality. For the VR aspect, bidders must submit a proposal for the development of a VR application that demonstrates how VR can be used to present the European Green Deal strategy to 18-30 year olds, and that is designed in a way that allows for multilingualism, with the look and feel of the application taking into account the visual identity of the European Commission.
For the AR aspect, bidders must propose an AR application that allows users to place European architectural landmarks in their own environment (e.g. the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, etc.). The application should target a young audience aged 12-15. Bidders are free to select four to five landmarks that they want to make available in AR and suggest features focusing on educational goals. Furthermore, the landmarks need to be displayed in comparison to each other and in the correct scale. The proposed AR mobile app should work in all 24 EU languages and be operational on mobile phones and tablets, covering both iOS and android devices. As with the VR case study, the look and feel of the application should take into account the visual identity of the European Commission.
Note that these above proposals are simply the requirements of the case studies needed in order for companies to demonstrate a technical competency within the fields of VR and AR. The actual requirements of what products will be needed once the contract has been awarded have not yet been disclosed, however it is likely that the above case studies give some clues as to what may generally be required of the successful bidder.
The duration of the contract is noted as being 48 months (4 years), with no extension options. Tenderers are able to submit a bid for one, several, or all four lots, depending on the choice of the tenderer. The other three lots cover:
⦁ Production of audiovisual publications (total value of EUR €3,000,000);
⦁ Production of mobile applications (total value of EUR €600,000);
⦁ Production of electronic publications based on HTML (total value of EUR €600,000).
The contract for lot 4 is expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2022. The deadline for receipt of bids is June 22, 2021 at 1:00pm Central European Summertime.