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Alba White Truffle lands in the metaverse with Hevolus Innovation and Microsoft Italy

A collaboration between the two companies and the International Alba White Truffle Fair Organization, the National Center for Truffle Studies and the Piedmont Regional Tourism Department gives birth to a phygital exhibition route that will help spread knowledge about the supply chain.



Alba, Sept. 20, 2022. Hevolus Innovation and Microsoft Italy, in collaboration with the International Alba White Truffle Fair Organization, the National Center for Truffle Studies and the Piedmont Regional Tourism Department, have developed the first Metaverse to offer a phygital exhibition itinerary that helps spread knowledge of the supply chain of this extraordinary product of the earth, an excellence of Made in Italy whose seeking and caving in Italy have been listed in the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage since last December.


The Fair's entry into the metaverse will be presented at Tuber Primae Noctis, the event that launches the International Alba White Truffle Fair by officially kicking off the seeking season. The event will be held on the night of September 20-21st at the Castle of Grinzane Cavour, in the context of the welcome dinner of the 6th edition of the Global Conference on Wine Tourism, an established initiative of the UNWTO.


In the park of the Grinzane Cavour castle in front of the marvellous panorama of the Langa hills, the experience will be shown live by a presenter wearing Microsoft HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset and will also be available on tablets for both on-site guests and remotely connected users.


The presenter and visitors will move through the Metaverse thanks to their own self-propelled, realistic-looking avatar. by entering an exhibition space that seamlessly blends physical context and digital content. They will follow an interactive narrative journey of discovery of the Alba White Truffle, divided into five stages: etymology and scientific scope, description of the search territories, identification and extraction techniques, gourmet show cooking sessions, and presentation of the Alba White Truffle World Market - a place in the historic centre of Alba where truffles from the Langhe, Monferrato and Roero area are appreciated and purchased.


Guests can enjoy the event in the Metaverse of the Fair Organization either in webXR, on mobile devices, or in augmented holographic reality by wearing Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset. It engages viewers step-by-step with images, video contributions, and spatial audio sound, with 3D digital twins that reproduce a specimen of Tuber magnatum Pico and a truffle dog in high resolution.


The project leverages the potential offered by Hevolus Innovation's hVerse solution, the world's first low-code platform to build enterprise metaverses autonomously, and the computational power of Microsoft's Azure cloud services. They were combined to engage visitors in an innovative web 4.0, simultaneous and interactive experience and to support the International White Truffle Fair Organization in further boosting food and wine tourism in the name of ever-increasing sustainability.



"Starting from the claim of this edition, 'Time is up', we want to emphasize the attention of the Fair to develop projects that are always 'contemporary' - says Liliana Allena, President of the International Fair of the Alba White Truffle - That's why the challenge of climate change has become a stimulus for us to involve the new generations, who feel the urgency to do something concrete: if on the one hand, we intend to create curiosity towards the destination, on the other hand, we want to test the future mode of fruition of the territories thinking about the travellers of tomorrow, the Z generation. Therefore, together with Microsoft Italy and thanks to a partner like Hevolus, we are happy to be able to be the first ones to present this phygital fruition of the offer, intercepting those who today do not travel yet and live immersed in the digital, social and gaming world, but who will soon be the protagonists of tourist flows."

As emphasized by the Councillor for Tourism, the Piedmont Region is always on the side of innovative projects that can put Piedmont at the forefront of international tourism offerings, and thanks to the Fair Organization, they are the first in Italy to offer visitors this kind of experience.


"We are convinced that phygital technologies, extended reality, the Metaverse and Cloud Computing can play an important role in addressing present and future social and environmental challenges, especially contributing to containing the impact that large-scale industrial change is generating. All sectors today need a comprehensive education process, awareness of sustainable development goals, and appropriate strategies moving in the same direction. 2030 is now near, and sustainability is a must for everyone," comments Antonio Squeo, Chief Innovation Officer of Hevolus.

"Being alongside this event so closely linked to the territory is an opportunity for Microsoft to highlight how digital can prove to be an extraordinary ally in enhancing an excellence of the Made in Italy. Our long-standing collaboration with this event allows us year after year to create and test more and more hybrid scenarios, combining reality and digital in an ideal union that demonstrates how digital transformation can embrace every sphere and can bring great benefits to every sector. Furthermore, thanks to the collaboration with our Partner Hevolus and innovative technologies, we can extend the experience of the International Alba White Truffle Fair to a larger and larger audience with richer and more engaging experiences," said Luba Manolova, Director of the Microsoft 365 Division of Microsoft Italy."





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