On December 11, two Bilkent faculty members, Asst. Prof. Eda Gürel of the Department of Tourism and Hotel Management and Arzu Sibel İkinci of the Department of Business Information Management, received a patent from the United States Trademark and Patent Office for their invention, an automated system for use by visitors at cultural and natural attractions. Registered under the name “System for Customized Games and Routes (tours) for Cultural and Natural Heritage,” it was conceived and developed by Dr. Gürel and Ms. İkinci in collaboration with Ankara Rahmi M. Koç Museum manager Mine Sofuoğlu and THM graduate and software project manager Serdar Vural Öktem, who are also patent holders for the invention.
The system offers a novel way to provide information to visitors at indoor or outdoor cultural and/or natural attractions or sites, and also to assist them in navigating through the site with reference to the visitor capacity of each location at that site in real time.
Comprising two subsystems, one for education and one for navigation, the system is implemented by means of a host computer, a server and a mobile computing device connected by cloud networking. It is intended not only to enrich visitor experience by offering customized routes and educational question-and-answer games, but also to provide site administrators with solutions to two technical problems: crowd and content management.
The patent is the first to be obtained in the the social sciences at Bilkent, and also the first software patent registered by faculty members at the university.