Great cities talk to you


By Zach Johnson

Every city has a personality. One city can be worldly, cultural and homey. Another is fast-paced, thrilling, and intimidating. The city’s personality is created by its inhabitants, and affects how everyone interacts with the city community. Citizen participation with a city being built from the ground up is another story. Being tasked with communicating the vision and personality of a future city was incredibly exciting. 

Xandra Labs is thrilled to be the first developer to offer an interactive conversation with people about a new city - its vibe, culture and personality - through a chatbot. 

The new Maroochydore CBD is the first city in the world to use Facebook Messenger to host a virtual tour guide, exposing the Sunshine Coast hub to up to over 900 million internet users every month. This marks the first time Facebook Messenger has been used to communicate with residents, visitors and business people about a new city through a conversational interface. 

The chatbot persona is of a 20-year old professional, who is an active member of the future city. Excitable, engaging, and optimistic - its sole purpose is to connect on an emotional level with locals and visitors to deliver up-to-date information. We expect to evolve the bot's capabilities as the new CBD comes to life, serving as the platform on which residents can access information on the history of the site and the development, time line for key milestones and how it will integrate with the current business community in Maroochydore. 

SunCentral Maroochydore, the company overseeing delivery of the Maroochydore City Centre project has been pioneering innovation in the new city from the ground up. CEO, John Knaggs, said the city centre development was designed for the 21st Century - embedding the latest technology, innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship into the foundations of the new CBD.

“Our world-first virtual tour guide is a great example of the kind of innovation we’ll be showcasing in the new Maroochydore CBD, and a fantastic way for locals and others to become familiar with the project and what’s happening on the site as we progress,” Mr Knaggs said.

Futuristic visions may include flying transport and drones delivering your coffee, but right now - we have chatbots. Talk to your city. 

Talk to the Bright City Guide Bot here: