Shédio, the start-up that promotes Algeria’s heritage

PARIS: Founded by brothers Feriel and Doria Tounsi, Shédio (“design” in Greek), an Algerian start-up that specializes in virtual reality, offers, among other things, 3D reconstructions of historic sites. Its purpose: to promote the Algerian heritage and make it more attractive with digital tools.

The rebuilt frescoes. (Photo provided).

“Shedio is a visionary company focused on virtual technologies and their use and integration in the world of business, culture and tourism “, referring to Arab News in French Feriel Tounsi. He cited the example of the use of virtual reality by companies wishing to organize virtual tours of their premises, their factories or for the needs of the production of advertising or promotional documents.

The idea was born in Doria when she was a student at the School of Fine Arts in Algiers. After a master’s degree in digital marketing and new technologies, he became interested in the issue of popularizing and preserving heritage through the integration of new technologies. “Our core business is immersive marketing where the consumer or client is immersed in the universe of the brand or product through a virtual reality headset,” explains Feriel Tounsi, co-founder of Shédio.

The Basilica of Saint Salsa was rebuilt. (Photo provided).

Composed of a team of designers, 3D designers, marketing specialists with degrees from major business schools and the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Algiers, Shédio wants to respond to a need for renewal in marketing. “Our idea is to target young video game enthusiasts who don’t have to go to museums, to have an interest in a virtual way in our country’s historical places and to discover their origins and their state at the time of their construction “, explains Feriel Tounsi.

Different formats to make culture popular

According to the founders of Shédio, the goal of the startup is to produce documentaries for the general public that can be broadcast on television channels, in tourist areas, in museums or even during exhibitions. “The company plans to create interactive virtual museums in 3D as well as a 360 visit application on the Web and mobile. The integration of our technology with virtual reality headsets could allow tourists visiting a site to walk around it as it is discovered at the time of its construction, it’s called immersive content, ”Feriel said. Tounsi.

According to him, the 3D reconstruction of archaeological and historical sites and various monuments and objects of Algerian heritage is also beneficial to entities in the tourism sector, cultural professionals as well. the companies want to showcase their projects. “Our goals are to create immersive content for virtual and augmented reality in the service of tourism and cultural heritage and to democratize access to Algerian cultural heritage,” said Feriel Tounsi.

Content documented and verified by specialists

For documentaries, Feriel and Doria Tounsi use archives and they call on cultural heritage specialists such as archaeologists and historians. “Our approach has an educational purpose. The design of our documents is carried out in a very strict manner so that the result is as faithful as possible to the original appearance”, continued the co-founder of Shédio. “To this end, we are conducting lengthy upstream research work with professionals and specialists in the sector concerned.”

According to them, Algeria has one thousand and thirty -eight historical places and tourists, seven of which are classified as world heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). “We decided to use the technology to overcome barriers to accessing the sites, such as the destruction of buildings or the occupation of the area by public administration”, explains Feriel Tounsi. “We offer a digital tourist service that combines 3D design, virtual tours and augmented virtual reality,” he pointed out.

Presentation of the Algeria Tourism Awards. (Photo provided).

The villa of Tipaza frescoes has been rebuilt in 3D

For the first time in Algeria, tourists in 3D reconstruction will discover the villa of frescoes located in the Roman ruins of the city of Tipaza, a coastal city located sixty kilometers west of Algiers.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the National Office for the Management and Exploitation of Protected Cultural Property (OGEBC), and organized by Shédio Design in collaboration with insurance company Macif, this operation will allow tourists to visit this historic place using a virtual reality. headset.

The two sisters are working on other projects such as the reconstruction of the Ketchaoua mosque (Algiers) and the sites of Roman destruction of Timgad, called “Pompeii of North Africa”. It is an ancient city located in the eponymous town, in the province of Batna (region of Aurès, northeastern Algeria). Their projects also involve Djemila, an ancient city located in the town of the same name, in the province of Sétif, in the northeast of the country. The Djemila site contains the remains of ancient Cuicul, a Roman city, classified as a World Heritage by Unesco.

The Shédio start-up was a finalist for the Emerging Valley edition in 2021 and received the first prize for Best Start-up Trophy in the second edition of the Algeria Tourism Awards 2021.

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