Mobile Engagement
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Hot Topic June 2016: Indoor Navigation

More than just orientation assistance, indoor navigation elevates marketing and sales to new heights.


Its nearly impossible to imagine driving a car or walking through a foreign city without today's GPS navigation systems. Whether its traffic information displayed on the sat nav or being able to call up museum opening hours on our smart phone, these systems make our lives undeniably easier. Wayfinder technologies such as these don't exist in closed networks. Over the past years, the development of future-oriented indoor navigation has been one of the hottest topics among leading IT and communications companies worldwide. The use of beacons has become essential to facilitating guest communication via Bluetooth technology. For companies and operators of larger businesses and facilities, this technology has opened a new world of possibilities for marketing and market research.

When navigating within closed networks, the successful GPS locations system is simply out of the question. Alternative location systems therefore use WLAN or Bluetooth for signal transmission. Greater accuracy is obtained with Bluetooth, which can pinpoint a location with extreme accuracy and with deviations of less than two meters.


Signal Transmission through Beacons


Bluetooth signals are transmitted from small hardware boxes called beacons. Depending on building size and the desired degree of accuracy, various numbers of beacons are positioned throughout the building or site. These communicate with the guest's mobile devices (Apple or android devices alike) continuously locating their position.

In order for this to work, visitors must have installed the app and activated the Bluetooth function on their iOS, smart phone or tablet. For location pinpointing, mobile devices measure the signal strength being transmitted constantly by the beacons. In this way, the guest location appears as a colored point on a two or three dimensional digital map along with the path to follow to reach the desired end location.


Service for Visitors and Customers


Bluetooth supported wayfinder technology replaces old fashioned, bland building and floor plans with comfortable, personal navigation in public buildings, businesses, museums or exhibition spaces. Indoor navigation is quickly gaining in appreciation by guests and customers, and the marketing landscape is being redefined through this innovation. To name only a few innovative applications of this technology;  businesses and institutions are able to target customers and guest with special offer alerts, indicate specific points of interest and important locations or highlight exhibited items.

Analysis Tools for Market Research

Future-oriented indoor navigation technology offers various analysis tools to pinpoint essential market research metrics and customer preference data. Operators of large locations like rail stations, airports, shopping malls and stores can communicate information like frequently traveled routes, identify 'hot spots' or alert to waiting times. A better understanding of individual and crowd circulation patterns is critical to optimal product placement and store layout.


© SiT Consult, June 2016