Blog series Pt 3: What are the possibilities of Indoor Wayfinding with Positioning?
In part 2 of our three-part blog series, we deepened into the possibilities of Indoor Wayfinding. We answered the question: What is Indoor Wayfinding? As a result, we saw that Indoor Wayfinding could be implemented with various methods. For example, by using photos, maps or a list of steps. The choice for one of these methods depends on a number of factors, such as the building, the target group and budget. We discussed multiple examples of Indoor Wayfinding without Indoor Positioning. Yet, Indoor Wayfinding can be implemented both with and without Positioning.
In part 3 of our blog series, we deepen into the possibilities of Indoor Wayfinding when Indoor Positioning has been implemented too. Finally, we take a look back at our blog series. Is Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning the right solution for your venue?
Indoor Wayfinding with Positioning
As we know, Indoor Wayfinding can help visitors find their way from one point to another in complex buildings. But, what is Indoor Positioning again? With Indoor Positioning you’ll be able to determine a user’s location in complex buildings, allowing personalized and context-based features. For example, visitors who arrive at the airport will receive a welcome message reminding them that the app can help them during their visit. M2mobi has implemented this feature at Dubai Airports, for instance.
When Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning are both implemented, visitors will not only be able to see their route, but also be able to see real-time where they are on that route. In this way, the context of a building - such as signs and displays - becomes even more relevant to a visitor. This is just an example of the many possibilities when both functionalities are implemented.
What are the possibilities of Indoor Wayfinding with Positioning?
Indoor Navigation is even more user-friendly when you know where a user is located. De-stressing visitors of complex buildings is seen as the main advantage of Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning. Visitors who need to find their way in a building as quickly as possible - for example, when their flight is about to leave - get the fastest route to their destination through the app. Does a user walk into the wrong direction? Then the app can warn him and guide him back to the right direction. Users can also see real-time how many minutes they’re away from their destination.
In addition, the location of a user allows you to involve all the facilities of a building - like the many shops at an airport - into the customer journey. As long as you combine the right data. Let’s take an airport for example. When you have insight into the current waiting times at the security checkpoint and know where a user is located, you could make an estimation of the time left during his visit. Is there enough time left? Then you could give relevant suggestions of shops to visit that are within his interest. Or provide him of some of the finest restaurants in the building. This experience is enhanced when the app navigates the user to the shop or restaurant.
Finally, the app can show all opening hours and distance to the store. Is the shop open for another five minutes, but is the visitor 10 minutes away from it? Then the app could advise him to visit another store. Ideally, the app shows a list of stores that are open - taking into account the distance from the user to the store - and within his interest. Next, the app can navigate the user to one of these stores.
In the above examples it becomes clear that Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning not only have benefits for the end user, but also for the existing stores in a building. They are brought to the attention through these functionalities.
What are the benefits for the building-owner?
Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning add value to the customer journey of visitors of complex buildings. But, what is the added value for the provider of these functionalities?
Earlier we wrote a whitepaper about the importance of digital innovation for physical stores. Looking at the traditional high street, we see many shops struggling to keep their head up. Whoever wants to survive must embrace the digital revolution. This also applies to large buildings such as a shopping mall or an airport. As a large building, you want to stimulate visitors to make use of all the facilities you have to offer, including the many shops and restaurants.
Today's consumer expects a personal approach and an optimal combination of digital and physical. With Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning, you can provide visitors with this personal approach. By responding to a visitor's location, you can stimulate sales of nearby stores. By combining the right data - such as the current waiting times at an airport’s checkpoint and a user’s location - your visitors can use their time more effectively. Also, visitors do not have to search for their favorite store, but are provided with the fastest route through the app. In this way, they user stays relaxed and there is more time left for visiting another shop or restaurant.
How does Indoor Wayfinding with Positioning work?
Indoor Wayfinding with Positioning combines the techniques of both functionalities - as we discussed in part 1 and part 2 of this blog series. The sensors in your phone communicate with so called Access Points (APs), like WiFi points or beacons. Those APs communicate with a server. In this way, the server can determine a user’s location up to five meters accurately. By combining this information with the maps of a building, Indoor Wayfinding is possible.
Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning in my building?
Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning can be of great added value to complex buildings such as universities, hospitals, airports and shopping malls. Indoor Positioning allows you to determine a visitor’s location in a complex building, making personalized features possible. In addition, with Indoor Wayfinding you can help a visitor find his way through the building.
Complex buildings like an airport can be experienced as stressful locations by visitors. With Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning, you can de-stress your visitors and make their visit relaxed and personal.
As a building owner, you can use Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning to stimulate your visitors to make use of all the facilities you have to offer. For example, by showing personally relevant offers of shops that are located near to a visitor. What method you use when implementing Indoor Wayfinding or Positioning depends on a number of factors, such as the end user, the building itself and your budget. Ideally, you’d offer a total package, but this does not always fit within your budget. For example, using beacons for Indoor Positioning is more accurate than using WiFi points, but also requires extra work and thus a larger budget. You should ask yourself whether an accurate location determination is important for the features to be implemented or not. Therefore, doing research in advance on the needs of the end user is important.
M2mobi has extensive experience in implementing Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning in complex buildings. For example, we have done this at Dubai Airports, Dallas / Fort Worth Airport, the AMC Hospital and the World Fashion Centre in Amsterdam. Do you want to know more about these cases or Indoor Wayfinding and Positioning? Feel free to contact us or see our cases.