Digitalizing Arctic Weather and Natural Phenomena (DiArWe)


The project Digitalizing Arctic Weather and Natural Phenomena (DiArWe) led by Dr. Ismo Alakärppä has received 440,000 euros in Tekes funding. The project investigates the possibilities of exploiting weather phenomena and digitalization in the experience industry, among others.

The DiArWe project addresses weather and natural phenomena as unused resources from the viewpoint of digitalization. The focus of the project is on the possibilities of digitalization especially in the application areas of tourism, the experience industry, and outdoor advertising. In addition, the project produces new solutions that utilize weather and natural phenomena for presenting content in the contexts of teaching, the game industry, and industrially manufactured products.

According to Mr. Alakärppä, the research topic provides an excellent possibility to develop an expert profile in various application areas of technology involving weather phenomena, digitalized natural interfaces, and the Arctic environment.

“Ideas stemming from Arctic weather phenomena can be turned into product concepts that function in very diverse conditions – even indoors,” Dr. Alakärppä notes.

The project will generate new knowledge on the application of technology in nature as well as user information on practical applications to be implemented with collaborators. The new applications can be used to find out the most applicable ways and technologies to present digital information in the weather and other surrounding conditions at any given time.

“For example, the project will demonstrate how imprints, light, and shadows can be digitally utilized and intelligently projected onto reflective surfaces in the air, which can be further applied in outdoor advertising and experience production,” says Dr. Alakärppä.

The project builds on the Tekes-funded preliminary project Äärisää (Extreme Weather) that outlined the potential of weather phenomena in the presentation of information. Äärisää concentrated on polar night weather phenomena – darkness and the cold – and the possibilities they offer. The new project will expand the application possibilities of technology to weather phenomena of the four seasons.

In addition to Tekes, the project is funded by the following: Lapland Safaris Oy, ProPinto Oy, Santapark Oy, Hulluporo Oy, Metsähallitus, Sievin Jalkine Oy, Snowflake Oy, and Suomen tykkimainos Oy. The project collaborates with Berlin University of the Arts based in Germany and Northern Research Institute (NORUT) based in Tromsø, Norway.

Further information:
Ismo Alakärppä, Postdoctoral Researcher
Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland
Phone: +358 40 725 0189