Location-awareness in Museums

Cultural organization is a shorthand phrase used to refer to learning settings such as museums, zoos, aquariums, science centers, historical sites, national parks, visitors attractions, botanical gardens and arboretums.  As Interactive’s Forrest Regan eloquently states, “. . . pretty much anywhere that has a story to tell and visitors to tell it to.”De Young Museum, San Francisco, California USA

Different audiences, variety of needs

Learning institutions share common objectives: engaging visitors through pleasurableMusical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, USA experiences that meet their interests and entice them to come back again and again.  For most of these organizations, the goal is to deliver social value by enabling learning opportunities and building audiences, particularly families, school groups and youth.

In response, many institutions strive to allocate their resources wisely to create environments that address visitors’ expectations.  But, what are these expectations?  An effective audience segmentation is key to answering this question, as is the deployment of information and infrastructure in support of a variety of needs.Museum of History, Cordoba, Argentina

For instance, from Dr. John H Folk’s study, visitors’ motivations may include personal curiosity, experiencing the venue and its surroundings, acquiring knowledge, performing research, or simply facilitating a cultural experience for friends and family, especially children.  Catering to such different needs is made possible through a blend of structured activities like curated tours, supporting the design of visitors’ personalized tours, and enabling structure-free experiences for contemplation or discovery.

The role of technology

Interpretive technologies can play a large role in helping visitors engage in greater depth, sparking a variety of experiences from closer appreciation to actively exploring and sharing.  The widespread use of mobile devices, either personal ones brought in, or rented at the venue, has further fueled change.  Audio tours and paper brochures give way to smartphone or tablet-based digital tours of varying sophistication and structure.Cleveland Museum of Art's Artlens

At the structured end of this spectrum, curators can plan interpretive guided tours and immersive journeys through their venues, blending digital technology with the exhibits.  If sharing is encouraged, visitors may share their experience using social media, choose from a variety of tours recommended by other visitors(often annotated), take part in audience surveys, and more.  For the unstructured experience, content search and discovery, wayfinding, and varying degrees of in-depth interaction are now possible.

Branded mobile apps, such as Cleveland Museum of Art’s Artlens, give learning institutions the ideal vehicle for connecting with their audiences. Most institutions have developed online content describing their collections, exhibitions, events, and research resources available.  They also highlight access to their facilities, including parking, shopping and dining.   Digitized materials housed in content management systems (CMS) can deliver curated content via multiple channels, supporting searches and exploration by audiences located anywhere.  At their venues, Wi-Fi has become the content delivery backbone that also provides access to search and social media.   The stage is set for a powerful delivery platform.

What about location-awareness?

Location-aware interpretive technologies

There are numerous applications of location-based services at cultural institutions that enable mobile apps to deliver highly contextual information.  Here are some examples, grouped by category.

Interpretation

Tours

Wayfinding through a venue using turn-by-turn navigation instructions is the basic functionality. Cleveland Museum of Art's Artlens take-a-tourAccurate real-time device positioning within the venue is the starting point.

Giving users the ability to select a curated tour or build a personalized one requires telling users where they are and how to move along successive steps in their journey.

Discovery along any route requires letting visitors know accurately where they are and what is around them that could be of interest to them.

Location-aware content delivery

Location-based content  can be delivered as visitors stand in front of exhibits and views, Cleveland Museum of Art's Artlens - near-you-nowproviding highly relevant contextual information on demand.

Content delivery may be triggered by proximity or actual physical location, as the intended content may be different.  For instance, proximity-based content may be appropriate for a small vase on a pedestal, while location-based content may be most appropriate when approaching a locomotive at a railroad museum.  In the latter case, every section in the perimeter of the exhibit may deliver different content.

Blending augmented reality and location enables delivery of synthesized, Cleveland Museum of Art's Artlens - Augmented Reality location-dependent contextual information, such as pointers to available on-demand information about an exhibit, as CMA’s Artlens illustrates.  At the extreme end, picture, for instance, walking through a large room while viewing on your tablet information about a historical event that took place in that very space, content and perspective changing as you move around or rotate 360 degrees, like stepping into the scene.  Now, that’s an experience you won’t easily forget.

Gaming

Participatory activities such as interactive games can draw audiences into deeper engagement and understanding of the material presented.  Complexity and sophistication may vary.

For example, high-tech treasure hunts can be very effective at deepening visitors’ engagement with the exhibits.  Mobile apps may deliver location-based clues as visitors move through the space, solving riddles, finding answers to questions, uncovering hidden clues, interacting with the works, possibly interacting with others while learning.

This form of guided exploration focusing on details may be particularly suitable in many cases, such as, when comparing techniques, colors and composition among artists of a given period across an exhibit, or analyzing and contrasting large fossil specimens at a natural history museum.

Visitor Services

A mobile app that delivers turn-by-turn navigation and wayfinding provides basic Cleveland Museum of Art's Artlens find-mevisitor comfort at sprawling venues.  The needs are many and well known: knowing where you are in a large complex is helpful; finding one’s way to the restaurant, the shop, the restrooms, the meeting point for the guided tour that starts in 15 minutes, where specific exhibits are, or where the elevator to the observation tower is located.  Last, but not least, can you find your way back to where you parked your car in the parking garage?

Solution: Navizon Indoors for Navigation can deliver positioning for mobile apps with 1-2 meters of accuracy, enabling navigation throughout multi-story venues.

Operations

Visitor flow analysis: measuring success

It is essential to measure the results of planning and investing in interpretive technologies.Heat Map  Did targeted audience members follow the designated path through the information delivered?  Where did visitors spend most of their time?  At what times during the day, week or month?  Which were the best attended exhibits, presentations, interactive activities and lectures?  Did high attendance at some exhibits correlate with any uptick in interest on any specific information?  How many people walked in, and then made a U-turn and left because of long-lines at the special exhibits, lack of docents to assist them, or other issues?Navizon Analytics - Unique visitors chart    What truly happened?

Solution: Navizon I.T.S. can track in real time any active Wi-Fi device moving through a monitored area.   Time-stamped data collected about visitors’ whereabouts can be used for detailed analysis of visitors’ movements, and turned into time-based heat maps that depict the ebbs and flows of crowds.

Staff tracking: where is everybody?

We know that it’s hard to manage what we can’t measure.User's locations on the dashboard  It may be important to know where staff members are throughout the day.  Are there personnel shortages at critical times during an event? Is everybody stretched too thin? Should there be additional personnel called in to assist at peak times? Are staff members available at all key posts throughout the day? Staff tracking can provide the raw information for informed decision making.

Solution: Either Navizon I.T.S. used with Wi-Fi tags or Navizon Indoors for Tracking using Smart Tags provide the building blocks.

Behind the scenes

Navizon can make all these venues location-aware to enable the required functionality.  Here are products and services available to make it happen.

Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) is a real-time locating system (RTLS) designed to track the location of active Wi-Fi devices, including smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi tags and custom Wi-Fi devices anywhere inside a building or throughout a campus, with accuracy down to the floor and room level.

Navizon Indoors  for Navigation is a system designed for mobile apps to obtain their current position using ambient radio signals, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy beacons such as iBeacons.  Both iOS and Android apps are supported.

Navizon Indoors  to Track enables iOS and Android mobile apps to obtain their current position using ambient Wi-Fi and/or iBeacons signals, also enabling external applications to track the mobile devices’ whereabouts.

Navizon Proximity Engine enables location-based actions, such as delivering media, triggered by the presence of registered Wi-Fi mobile devices at specific locations of interest.

Navizon Analytics measures, logs and displays visitor traffic in real-time and historically over time by counting the number of active Wi-Fi devices nearby.

Navizon Wi-Fi Tags are used with Navizon I.T.S. to track the whereabouts of personnel and valuable mobile assets.

Navizon Smart Tags are used with Navizon Indoors To Track to follow the movements of staff or assets.

Used singly, or in concert, these products and services enable cutting edge applications that deliver real value.Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System)

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Location-based In-store Analytics in Retail

Location-based analytics in physical retail environments provide business insights valuable to stores and brands by analyzing in-store customer behavior.Father and daughter at the supermarket

All retail environments, both physical and online, are concerned with understanding what customers do inside their stores.  For bricks-and-mortar stores the questions may include: at what time do customers come in? Do they rapidly dart in and out seeking specific items? (E.g.  milk or bread.)   Do they linger, exploring different sections?  (E.g. shoes, lingerie, cosmetics and the latest jeans.)  Do they notice and stand in front of new displays?  Do they pay attention to endcaps?  Women's clothing store windowDo they appear to scan various sections in search of something?  What percentage of them go through the checkout (a conversion)?  Or simply exit the store without buying anything?  Are visitors’ paths through the store similar?  Are “shallow” visits prevalent?  And if so, why?  Does it happen that potential customers walking in the store take a peek at the length of the checkout lines and leave because they are too long?   What times during the day/week does this happen?  And by the way, are these new or repeat customers?  How often do they return? At what times?  Do they come on Saturdays? Or right after work throughout the week?  It’s a long list.

Data analysis enables physical store managers to

  • segment their customers according to buying behavior, such as time of day or items basketSupermarket laundry products section
  • learn where customers spend their time: they enter the store, visit specific departments, given aisles seeking product categories, then looking at specific items before purchasing (or not)
  • understand what sections of the store are less visited, to inform layout changes
  • learn the effectiveness of their cash/wrap section at busy times by measuring queue lengths
  • assess the success of in-store promotions and marketing efforts
  • measure the impact on sales of long lines at the registers during the busiest times of day.

Brands also benefit greatly from this data.  Every brand tries to stand out.  The best placement is often off-the-shelf, on a dedicated display or an endcap where the brand and its products are showcased.  Fashion clothing store windowHow many customers actually seek it? How many stop by?  How many others looking for other products in the same category pay attention to it?  Is there correlation between the number of interested visitors and increased sales?  Most definitely a brand will avoid being displayed in a section with few visitors, or with plenty of visitors at the wrong time of day (e.g. dinner foodstuff when visitors come in for breakfast items).  Clearly, analytics based on measuring visitors behavior can be very relevant for product placement, promotions and marketing campaigns, most of which often command large budgets.

How is data collected?

Achieving the greatest insights requires following the average customers at deeper levels of granularity, from the store, down to section, aisle, category and specific products within it.  Woman using smartphone at supermarketThe traditional way to do this relies on trained observers (people) deployed through the store, discreetly observing customers’ behavior, recording their observations, often aided by video cameras.

Enter location technology-based analytics, enabled by the proliferation of smart phones: we can track people’s whereabouts by determining the location of their mobile devices over time.

Collecting device location data for retail analytics depends on several key factors:

  1. the ability to track visitors unobtrusively, without requiring people to connect to any system or activate mobile apps on their devices
  2. the ability to track all device brands
  3. obtaining location accuracy with granularity down to the aisle level, covering multiple floors and buildings, if necessary

Why location accuracy matters

Detecting and triangulating a device’s position by sensing the signals emitted by its Wi-Fi radio is a very practical approach, given the widespread availability and use of Wi-Fi services inside buildings.  Also, many people never turn off their phones’ Wi-Fi radio.  A location accuracy of about 2 or 3 meters is possible, enabling aisle-level  granularity.

The question is often asked as to whether it is possible to use a store’s existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to collect the data.  Clearly, it is possible to collect some data, but unfortunately, location accuracy will drop down to 10-12 meters of worse, making aisle-level granularity impossible.  The reason why is that existing Wi-Fi systems are deployed for connectivity, not for location. Access points located in the center of rooms or sparsely distributed through a space make it nearly impossible to triangulate devices’ location with acceptable accuracy.  Collecting section-level visitor counts is possible, but aisle-level location is not.

In-store analytics

Collecting the right data is only the beginning.  It must be aggregated, processed and presented to deliver the desired insights.   Navizon customers provide several great examples.

They deliver real-time in-store shopper behavior analytics, enabling stores to get to know their customers by providing store and brand managers with actionable insights. Supermarket produce sectionThe systems being deployed at some of the largest retailers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia leverage Wi-Fi technology to deliver deeper analytics to retailers, helping them improve their store execution performance and merchandizing effectiveness.

They provide real-time, in-store shopper behavior analytics with aisle-level accuracy and seamless POS integration. This lets retailers follow their customers through their in-store experience: where they went inside the store, how much time they spent in different areas of the store, observe what captured their interest and ultimately what they puchased.  This type of analytics, which has been available for online shopping, is now being brought to the bricks-and-mortar world powered by Wi-Fi technology.

Behind the scenes

Navizon’s hardware-based products enable automatically compiling the raw data to deliver all these insights.  Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) detects the Wi-Fi signals emitted by devices like smart phones and tablets, determining their location as they move about, or their proximity to a desired spot, or just counting their numbers.

Privacy is always a concern.  However, note that it is impossible to identify who the people are or obtain their phone numbers.  No personally identifiable information is ever collected. Only device’s unique identifiers, their MAC addresses, which can be easily hashed or scrambled for greater privacy protection.

To collect location data, sensors are placed throughout a store (e.g. in every corner), to detect mobile phones whose Wi-Fi radios are active.  The system estimates in real time the sequence of locations as mobile devices move through the site.  Average location accuracy of about 2 or 3 meters is sufficient to know whether the device is on a specific aisle, standing in front of an endcap or queuing at the checkout line.  A new era of retail analytics is now possible.Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System)

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Indoor Location at Big Brother Brasil (BBB14) by Navizon

The new season of Big Brother Brasil  began on January 14, 2014.

Big Brother Brasil, also known as Big Brother, Brazilian Edition, is the biggest and most popular reality TV show in Brazil, and one of the most talked-about in Brazilian TV history.  The current season is BBB14.

Produced by Rede Globo, or simply TV Globo, the show is about a group of complete strangers that share a house for up to three months, relentlessly followed by TV cameras, without any contact to the outside world: no access to TV, radio, computer, phones, newspapers or outside people.  Housemates, referred to as “brothers“, compete with each other, the object being to be the last remaining contestant in the House.

The TV audience follows the brothers’ every move via live video through various websites. They also comment and vote.

BBB14 brings a new dimension to the show: the location of all brothers is monitored in real time with one-meter accuracy.  The audience can now follow everybody’s location throughout the House via a live feed from SALA DE CONTROLE (the Control Room).

Who will be the winner of BBB14?  We’ll just have to keep an eye on everyone, wait for three months and see.  It will be exciting.

Behind the Scenes

How are brothers tracked? Each of them carries an RF (Radio frequency) device, a Wi-Fi tag, that enables locating them in real time and tracking their movement throughout the House over time.

Navizon’s real-time locating system (RTLS), Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) provides location data which is displayed on TV Globo’s website. Viewers can now tell who is by the pool right this minute.  By combining a RTLS and Navizon Wi-Fi tags, locating and tracking people and resources for entertainment or commerce through a physical space is now possible. Another first for TV Globo!


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Gallery Analytics: visitors at an exhibition

Amsterdam-based artist Jonas Lund creates pieces that combine software, video, photography, installation and performance.

In his own words, “his practice explores the mechanisms that constitute our shared online experiences“. His body of work has examined spaces in contemporary life that are impacted by the digital world, like privacy, collaborative art or the anxieties motivated by being awash in information through digital channels.

He uses custom software and digital technologies to open up spaces and explore connections people are often unaware of.

Gallery Analytics

One of his latest pieces, Gallery Analytics, looks at the dynamics of visitors at a physical space: the Momentum exhibit at the Rewire festival.

The audience is shown metrics (statistics) about visitors walking by and through a physical art gallery, plus a real-time depiction of these visitors’ whereabouts through the space.  This information is made available in a format familiar to online denizens: as Google Analytics charts and graphs.  As a result, viewers are confronted with the realization that their presence at a physical space can be automatically detected and measured, much the same way their online presence can be at any website.  The parallel blurs an often-assumed distinction between the online and physical worlds.

Gallery Analytics will remain at this URL, Gallery Analytics, for the duration of the Momentum exhibit.

The piece includes two views, the Audience Overview:Audience Overview

and the Real-Time view:Real Time View

Using custom software and a system that tracks mobile devices in real-time, Gallery Analytics follows people movements and compiles information about their visit.

Audience Overview

What was the number of visitors per day since the exhibit opened?  How many people walked by?  How many came into the exhibit?  What percentage of them were first-time visitors? What was the average visit duration?  How many works in the exhibit were looked at?

Real-Time View

Visitors move around the gallery throughout the day, standing in front of an exhibit for awhile, then moving on to the next one. Their numbers ebb and flow, as people concentrate in specific areas at given times, then depart.  The overhead view shows dots moving about, capturing movement in real time.Real Time View

Real time data collected includes information about visitors not easily obtainable.Real Time View

Behind the scenes

Gallery Analytics was implemented as a custom Google Analytics dashboard displaying data provided by a real-time locating system and statistics derived from this data.

Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) is a hardware-based real-time locating system (RTLS) designed to track the location of active Wi-Fi devices with accuracy down to the floor and room level.

Navizon I.T.S. detects active Wi-Fi devices, such as smart phones and tablets, enabling their locations to be displayed as dots on the floor plan.  Neither direct connectivity to Navizon I.T.S. nor installation of mobile apps are required.  Notably, no personally identifiable information is collected from anyone.

Easy-to-deploy and integrate products such as this, provide flexible building blocks for implementing innovative applications in many realms.

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Indoor Location at EventTech 2013

Sponsored by Event Marketer, EventTech is the premier conference and exposition focused on technology for events and trade shows.  EventTech 2013

The third annual conference, held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas from November 4th through 6th, 2013, brought together “the world’s top event marketers and technologists”.  At its booth, Navizon demonstrated indoor location technology.

The venue

Bellagio’s Tower Ballroom was laid out as shown in the floor plan, with a large theatre at the center and smaller ones at each corner; EventTech floor planthe Guru Bar to the left gathered those interested in technology discussions.  Two lounges set up as phone charging stations were popular destinations throughout the day.Navizon I.T.S Dashboard

Navizon was granted permission to place hardware sensors (nodes) throughout the space, to passively monitor attendees’ whereabouts, in a live demonstration of device tracking indoors.  This is what happened:

Attendee Tracking 

Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) detected all active Wi-Fi devices: about 1600 smart phones, tablets and laptops were displayed as dots on the system dashboard, on a large flat screen.  Neither direct connection to Navizon I.T.S. nor installation of any mobile apps were needed.  Most notably, no personally identifiable information was collected from anyone.Navizon ITS dashboard detail

Conference attendees moved around the venue during the day, attending presentations at the various stages, visiting booths, getting coffee or congregating at the charging stations. Their numbers ebbed and flowed, as people concentrated in specific areas at given times, then moved on in search of the next event or activity.  The Navizon I.T.S. dashboard showed the moving dots, capturing their movements in real time.

Detailed logs were available for download at the end of each day.  The time-stamped log entries include device identifier and geographic coordinates, providing a snapshot of each device’s whereabouts as input for further analysis.  For example: heat maps.

Monitoring attendees’ concentrations

A new Navizon I.T.S. feature, Navizon Heat Maps, was premiered at this show. Heat Map at EventTech Heat Maps aggregate individual device positions to create a visual representation of the changing density of attendees over time, at various locations throughout the venue.  Higher densities are represented in darker, reddish hues;  lower densities in light green; lowest in yellow fading into black.

It was easy to spot well attended presentations, as they shone in dark red.  And it was easy to see those dark areas fading into light greens and then black, as presentations ended and people moved on in search of other activities. Varying densities reflected movement and concentration of attendees in specific areas, like those sitting at the charging stations late in the afternoon.

As expected, all collected heat map data can be “played back” later to quickly visualize the changing concentrations of attendees that took place at different time periods throughout the day.

Positioning and Way-finding

On Wednesday, there was a private screening of Navizon Indoors, the latest technology in indoor positioning and navigation, designed to provide way-finding for mobile apps with sub-meter accuracy.  Navizon Indoors Demo

Navizon Indoors does not require hardware sensors for positioning. It relies instead on the ambient Wi-Fi signals available through a space to generate a library of “fingerprints” that can then be used by authorized devices to determine their location.

Augmented by data from a device’s sensors, such as accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope, Navizon Indoors (Alpha version) provided smooth location tracking, as shown in this video:


Behind the scenes

Navizon is a provider of indoor location platforms that enable implementation of location-aware solutions for many applications in event marketing.  The products demonstrated at EventTech were:

Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System), a hardware-based real-time locating system (RTLS) designed to track the location of active Wi-Fi devices, including smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi tags and custom Wi-Fi devices anywhere inside a building or throughout a campus, with accuracy down to the floor and room level.

Navizon Heat Maps is a Navizon I.T.S. feature that aggregates data from individual devices detected through a monitored space, and graphically represents their varying concentration over time.

Navizon Indoors for Navigation  is a software-based system designed for mobile apps to obtain their current position using ambient radio signals.

Singly or in combination, these products are easy to deploy tools for implementation of many innovative applications in event marketing and other industries.

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Internetix shines with Quirk’s innovation

Sponsored by Internet Solutions, Internetix is one of the most important high-technology events in Africa.  Internetix 2013This annual conference is Internet Solutions’ flagship event to discuss topics in tech and innovation within the digital environment.  The 14th annual gathering, held in July 2013, brought together over 1,500 delegates from local and global tech companies in two events: at the Cape Town Convention Centre (July 18th), and at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg (July 23rd).

The theme this year was Living in exponential times, connoting the disruption and opportunities ushered in by today’s technical innovation: anything is possible; digital is ever evolving and changing. As befits such a theme, Internet Solutions wanted to wow attendees with a feat of technical innovation.

Quirk, the largest independently-owned marketing agency in Africa was commissioned to come up with digital campaign ideas for this conference.  Quirk chose to showcase indoor location technology by tracking, in real time, delegates’ whereabouts within the conference venues via their mobiles. Here is their story.

Over a thousand people registered with Quirk. They checked in with their smart phones at a registration desk, providing their names.  Quirk tracking Internetix delegates whereabouts

During the event, everyone’s current location in the venue was displayed, in real time, on large flat screens.  No mobile app was required.  No need to connect to any system.

Registration data also enabled the Quirk team to display playful statistics, such as announcing that “Delegates around you are mostQuirk tracking Internetix delegates by name likely named Craig”, the count of devices present in the room, grouped by manufacturer, the number of female delegates being tracked, and males vs. female delegates flow throughout the space.

Quirk made two key points about the future of location-based marketing.  For users who opt in, it may enable, not just identification, but also content “push” precisely when users are present at a location of interest.  Think promotions for loyalty customers, or receiving relevant information in front of an exhibit.  Internetix 2013 eventFor all visitors, raw data is now readily available to analyze their flow and behavior over time:  At what time did they come in?  Which entrance did the use?  How long did they stay?  Where did they linger?  What path did they follow through the venue?  Did they come back multiple times?  What sections of the site did they visit?  Where and when were the highest visitor concentrations? What brand of mobile devices did they carry?  You get the idea.

Once again, Quirk lived up to its motto: Brave Curious Minds.  It was a success. People were really excited to see themselves on screen. Betting on this emerging technology enabled Quirk’s team to be one of the first in their industry to explore the possibilities that rapidly evolving location-based technologies are bringing.   And there is much more to come.

Behind the scenes

The Quirk team deployed Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) to monitor the venue. This hardware-based real-time locating system (RTLS) locates and tracks active Wi-Fi devices by their MAC (Media Access Control) address.  MAC addresses are unique 12-digit identifiers that convey no personally identifiable information about the device’s owner–e.g. no relation to name or phone number.  Their first 6 digits identify the device’s manufacturer (e.g. Apple, Motorola or Samsung).

Navizon I.T.S. provides an online dashboard that displays a top view of the facility, typically with a custom floor plan overlaid on it.  Quirk tracks attendees by name at Internetix 2013Devices tracked appear as dots moving over the floor plan. The dots can be labeled; for example, with the devices’ user names, as in this case.

To shorten development time, the Quirk team chose to display Navizon I.T.S.’ dashboard at the event.  Registered users were able to watch their movements on large flat screens as they walked about.

Associating users’ names with their smart phones was done using Navizon Magic Touch.  Users simply place their phones in contact with the Magic Touch hardware. An API enables the registration system to read the MAC address and complete the user’s profile.

A daily log could provide data essential for creating time-based heat maps and analyzing attendees’ flow. Navizon I.T.S. automatically generates an event log containing the list of time-stamped MAC addresses sampled throughout the day, including latitude, longitude and the identity of the sensors throughout the venue that detected them.

Clearly, Quirk’s technical sophistication made all this possible in a very short time.  Which made them want to pursue even more ambitious goals next time.  We can’t wait.Quirk: As us about the magic

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Location-based technologies in Event Marketing

Face-to-face marketing, as conducted in events, trade shows and conferences, is a major component of b-to-b marketing strategies. The current trend involves the creation of end-to-end experiences across multiple channels that begin well before the event starts and continue long after it has finished.  The goal is to go beyond engagement, creating immersive branded experiences that influence buyers and win sales, moving targeted audiences from brand consideration to adoption to, ultimately, advocacy.

Booths at the trade showIntegrated marketing programs developed around strategic themes enable creation of a highly relevant, compelling experience for each attendee.  Audience segmentation is key, as marketing should be different for different groups.  For instance, each attendee’s path through the experience can be laid out to include different demos, invitations to different activities, presentations and meetings.

As expected, technology plays a key role in the marketer’s plans.  Pre-event engagement begins online and via branded mobile apps.  The live event leverages users’ bring-your-own-device trend with mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, as well as an array of digital tools that range from electronic signage to augmented reality.  Post event, social media and mobile apps prolong the engagement via access to relevant information and personal interactions. At the trade show

Blending digital technology with face-to-face interactions, event marketers can plan immersive journeys through trade show environments, corporate events and live experiences.  Participatory activities such as interactive games or treasure hunts can draw audiences into deeper discovery and understanding of brand and product, as do immersive product demos.  Here is where location-awareness comes into play.

High-tech treasure hunts deliver location-based clues. As users solve riddles, they move through the space finding answers to questions, uncovering hidden clues, operating devices, running demos, possibly interacting with others while learning about the brand and its products.

Location-aware augmented reality demos can be particularly effective, for example, for visualizing how a proposed design or product would fit in a physical space. Tablets and other devices capable of determining orientation, coupled with location can deliver a complete experience by synthesizing a large range of environments.

Face-to-face events must deliver business value to the sponsoring organizations and their prospects. Business seminar

For event producers, it is often essential to measure the results of their planning.  Did targeted audience members follow the designated path through the information delivered?  Where did attendees spend their time?  At what times during the day?  Which were the best attended demos, presentations, interactive activities and panels?  Did high attendance at some attractions correlate with any uptick in interest on any specific information?  How many people walked in, and then made a U-turn because of long-lines at the demos, lack of booth personnel to assist them, lackluster demos, or other issues?    What truly happened?

For attendees, was it easy to find the booth?  And the desired presentations and panels?  To connect with the right vendor/expert resources to answer burning questions and provide much needed information?  To locate conference rooms, facilities, amenities and each other?  Was the journey relevant to their needs?

Behind the scenes

Navizon products provide the location-based platform to enable all this functionality.

Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) is a real-time locating system (RTLS) designed to track the location of active Wi-Fi devices, including smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi tags and custom Wi-Fi devices anywhere inside a building or throughout a campus, with accuracy down to the floor and room level.

Navizon Indoors  is a software-based system designed for mobile apps to obtain their current position using ambient radio signals.

Navizon Proximity Engine enables location-based actions, such as delivering media, triggered by the presence of registered Wi-Fi mobile devices at specific locations of interest.

Navizon Analytics measures, logs and displays visitor traffic in real-time and historically over time by counting the number of active Wi-Fi devices nearby.

Navizon Wi-Fi Tags to be used with Navizon location products to enable tracking the whereabouts of people and assets.

Used singly or in combination, these products enable cutting edge applications that deliver real business value.

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Navizon at RFID Live 2013 Conference

Join us at the 2013 RFID Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, April 30 through May 2, booth #138!

RFID Live 2013 ConferenceWe will be available to answer your questions about how to harness location technology for global and indoor mobile device positioning, measuring foot traffic flows, and real-time locating system implementation.

Our Specialties

Global Positioning for mobile devices: Our global database of cellular towers and Wi-Fi access point locations provides the tools for businesses to create location-aware mobile apps.  Our popular crowdsourcing and rewards program has attracted a global community of over a million users.

Indoor Positioning: Our products provide accurate indoor positioning for mobile devices, real-time device tracking with floor and room-level accuracy, proximity-triggered actions and tools for analyzing visitor traffic in venues spanning indoors and outdoors.

Our Products

An industry first, Navizon One makes it possible for mobile device users to determine their geographic position by using the location of cell phone base stations and Wi-Fi access points in addition to GPS.

Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) is a hardware-based real-time locating system (RTLS) designed to track the location of active Wi-Fi devices, including smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi tags and custom Wi-Fi devices anywhere inside a building or throughout a campus, with accuracy down to the floor and room level.

Navizon Indoors  is a software-based system designed for mobile apps to obtain their current position using ambient radio signals.

Navizon Proximity Engine enables location-based actions, such as delivering media, triggered by the presence of registered Wi-Fi mobile devices at specific locations of interest.

Navizon Analytics measures, logs and displays visitor traffic in real-time and historically over time by counting the number of active Wi-Fi devices nearby.

Navizon Wi-Fi Tags to be used with Navizon location products to enable tracking the whereabouts of people and assets.

Our Company

Navizon, a pioneer and leading provider of location-based services, brings over 10 years of experience to the mobile location market. Come see us in booth #138.

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Cleveland Museum of Art: Gallery One

On January 21, 2013, the Cleveland Museum of Art unveiled Gallery One, a new interactive gallery that blends art and cutting-edge technology to provide museum goers with a completely new experience. Emphasizing engagement, curiosity and creativity through a dynamic interaction with the museum’s collection is enabled by the Collection Wall and Artlens, a mobile app for iPads, as well as by digital interactive works.

The Collection Wall, a 40-foot interactive MicroTile wall features works of art from the permanent collection. Being the largest multi-touch screen in the United States, it is one of the most unique and innovative aspects of Gallery One. Art objects “float by” on the wall, slowly rotating by theme and type, such as time period, materials and techniques, as well as curated views of the collection.  Visitors can interact with the Wall, viewing, exploring and selecting art objects of their interest, to build a personal tour.

iPad docked at the Collection WallThe Collection Wall includes a half-dozen docking stations for iPads, allowing visitors to download existing tours, build personalized tours of the collection or self-curate a route through the museum.

The gallery tour is designed around ArtLens, a multi-dimensional app for the Apple iPad, available free from iTunes. ArtLens’ innovative user-interface design provides indoor gallery maps, enables scanning objects in the gallery and provide visitors with extensive information about the art objects they look at.  There are nearly nine hours of educational audio and video that can be enjoyed in a personalized way.

ArtLens helps visitors locate specific artworks and navigate through tours. As soon as visitors enter the gallery,  ArtLens can show them exactly where they are and which notable objects are nearby.

The Find-me function orients visitors, helps them find works of art and the objects in their personalized tour, including on which floor they are in.

Artlens Find-me functionThe Near-you-now function enables discovering artworks in the collection and browsing along a fully personalized route. Objects of interest near the user become available for additional exploration, turning Artlens into a proximity-based recommender.

Many art museums have used interactive digital technology on websites for years. What is truly new and innovative about Gallery One is the opening up of the entire museum’s collection to exploration, the support for personal discovery, and the emphasis on visitors experiencing deeper layers of learning in a fully personalized way.  State-of-the-art technology makes it all come to life.

Behind the scenes

Gallery One blends art and technology to support visitors’ engagement with the collection. It was Navizon’s privilege to be selected as the provider of indoor location services, enabling navigation and artwork-locating throughout the museum.

Navizon’s real-time locating system, Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) was deployed at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA): over a hundred Navizon I.T.S. nodes were placed throughout the site to locate, in real time, the ubiquitous iPads.

Navizon I.T.S. tracks active Wi-Fi devices including Android, iPad, iPhone,  laptops, and Wi-Fi tags with an accuracy of 2 or 3 meters, pinpointing floor and room.  Though no application is actually required on the devices tracked by I.T.S., mobile apps like Artlens can leverage Navizon’s API and be aware of the device’s position anywhere throughout the monitored area.

In addition, Navizon I.T.S. will enable CMA to measure Gallery One’s success via indicators such as dwell time –i.e. how long visitors spend looking at artworks, and how long they spend looking at art versus interacting with iPad screens.

The results already speak for themselves: a seamless integration of ground-breaking applications in museum experience with Navizon’s pioneering locating technology.

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Location-based technologies in health care: Assets Management

The management of mobile medical equipment is a significant challenge for many hospitals.  An average mid-size hospital has thousands of mobile devices in continuous motion.  Keeping track of their whereabouts and being able to locate them quickly is essential to delivering quality care, performing preventive maintenance, handling recalls, preventing theft, finding missing assets, increasing staff efficiency and optimizing asset utilization.  In all cases, managing hospital assets requires knowing their actual location in real time and historically over time.

Equipment Utilization

Hospitals must manage their assets to ensure that resources are deployed effectively to deliver the best possible outcomes for their patients.  However, managing thousands of assets in constant daily motion is very difficult.  Just about every piece of valuable equipment in a hospital is mobile or on wheels. Activities such as finding a piece of equipment may consume a large portion of a caregiver’s shift, increasing costs, slowing patient flow and impacting patient care.

Complexity increases with product recalls, mandatory maintenance schedules, equipment rentals, asset misplacement and outright theft.  Some organizations manage the challenge by over-purchasing the most needed and hard-to-find equipment, negatively impacting the bottom line.

Understanding equipment utilization, which includes knowing where the equipment is located at all times, who uses it and for how long, is essential for maintaining optimal inventory levels, planning purchases and managing rentals.

Solution: Affixing Wi-Fi tags to all equipment, owned and rented, enables Navizon I.T.S. to pinpoint the whereabouts of all equipment at all times.

Preventive Maintenance

Medical equipmentPreventive maintenance of medical equipment used for patient care is subject to procedures and guidelines recommended by numerous bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and in the US, The Joint Commission (http://www.jointcommission.org).  The goal of these procedures is to reduce the risk of equipment malfunction that may lead to life-threatening mistakes in patient care.  Compliance with maintenance requirements to ensure equipment availability relies on the ability to locate the equipment in a timely manner for cleaning and re calibration.

Solution:  Wi-Fi tags affixed to all equipment enables Navizon I.T.S. to track its location.  Both real time location and historical location over time are available.  Business Intelligence applications can reconstruct the equipment whereabouts, identify who used it, for how long and estimate the idle time.

Preventing Theft, Misplacement and Hoarding

Shrinkage in equipment stock may be a result of misplacement, theft or even hoarding for future  use.  Having the ability to determine when valuable equipment is removed from the premises is an obvious plus.  Determining where all equipment is located at any time reduces the incentive to hoard it, while increasing confidence that it will be found when needed.

Solution:  Wi-Fi tags affixed to all equipment enables Navizon I.T.S.  to rapidly find it when needed.

Handling Recalls

When recalls take place, effected equipment must be tracked down and removed from use until it is repaired or replaced.  Rapidly locating the effected equipment is essential to reducing liability and risk while avoiding  wasted valuable staff time.

Solution:  Wi-Fi tags affixed to all equipment, both owned and rented, enables  Navizon I.T.S.  to rapidly find its location

Reducing Unnecessary Rentals

When are equipment rentals necessary?  For how long?  Is there any rental equipment sitting idle?  Are rentals addressing peak utilization or just a quick substitute for needed capital expenditures?  Those questions are easily answered once the owned and rental equipment utilization is understood.

Solution:  Wi-Fi tags affixed to all rental equipment enables Navizon I.T.S. to provide their location in real time and historically over time.  This enables Business Intelligence applications to determine who uses them, where and for how long.  Idle times are quickly identified from this data, informing the optimal rental strategy for each equipment category.

Automating Work orders

Health Care Workers in the HospitalWhen equipment breaks down, it is often simply pushed to a corner because it takes too long to complete a repair work order.  As a result, equipment may be left unused and unattended for extended periods of time, reducing service and triggering additional costs, and maybe rentals to cover the need.  On the other hand, increased asset utilization, maintenance compliance, and increased staff efficiency are all within reach though automation.

Solution: Buttons in the Wi-Fi tags affixed to the equipment may be programmed to request service, generating an automated work order at the push of a button. Further, if certain classes of equipment sit idle for some time, a monitoring application could automatically request an inspection and possibly service at its current location.

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Location-based technologies in health care: Safety

Ensuring patients and staff safety is a primary concern in many health care facilities. Risks are plentiful, including the spread of infections, elopement of patients unable to care for themselves, and physical violence on the staff at emergency departments. Fortunately, location-based technologies can provide solutions to some of these problems.

Patient Safety

Healthcare Patch: WheelchairAmbulatory patients under care at hospitals and  healthcare institutions sometimes present special challenges for caregivers.  For example, patients with cognitive disorders, dementia or under special medication may be at risk of walking away unnoticed or enter a location where they are not easily spotted, such as a service closet.   As a result, time and resources are spent searching for patients that put themselves and others at risk.

Another critical group of patients whose whereabouts must be tracked are newborn infants.  Preventing abduction by detecting unauthorized movement of infants is essential in hospital settings.

Solution:  Providing patients with Wi-Fi tags in a hospital bracelet, clipped to  their clothes, or on a lanyard is an effective tool for tracking every patients’ location.  Navizon I.T.S. can locate and track all active Wi-Fi tags everywhere, enabling the implementation of geo-fencing rules.  For example, if there is a need to confine a patient to a specific floor or area, alarms can be triggered upon rule violation.

Emergency Response

Another common problem occurs when patients who need immediate assistance are unable to be heard, ring a bell or use a phone.  For example, a patient could  fall down, unable to get up, in an area that is not visible to staff members.

Solution:  Providing patients with Wi-Fi tags in a hospital bracelet, clipped to  their clothes, or on a lanyard is an effective tool for tracking the patients’ locations.  Wi-Fi tags with push-buttons can be used to implement a “wireless nurse call” function to summon help.  Navizon I.T.S. locates and tracks active Wi-Fi tags, and provides the functionality to generate alarms at the push of a button.

Infection Control

Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI), a.k.a. Healthcare Associated Infections, is one of the leading causes of death for hospitalized patients worldwide.

Infection Prevention and Control is concerned with preventing and managing infections spread in healthcare facilities.  Infection Control is a practical sub-discipline of epidemiology that is part of the health care infrastructure.  It addresses the factors that contribute to the spread of infections within the health care delivery system: patient to patient, patient to caregiver, caregiver to patient and amongst caregivers.

Infection control includes prevention (hand hygiene, vaccination and surveillance), outbreak investigation of actual or suspected spread, and management (handling of outbreaks). The business impact is clear: potential legal liability, risk of non-compliance with healthcare standards and exposure to high HAI treatment costs.

Solution:  Navizon I.T.S.’ ability to historically track with high resolution the whereabouts of staff, patients and equipment can provide the information necessary to investigate an outbreak and determine its spread.  Rapidly identifying who has been in contact with an infected person is readily available from historical data.  Alerts and escalations built on evolving data can assist in early detection and containment.  Compliance reports can also be generated using this data.

Staff Duress / Panic

Ensuring staff members’ safety is very challenging for any hospital or healthcare facility, as episodes of physical violence are a real problem for them.  This is especially true of emergency departments (ED), which have long been considered high-risk areas.

For example, findings from a surveillance study on ED violence from 2009 through 2011 by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) says that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “46% of all non-fatal assaults and violent acts requiring days away from work were committed against registered nurses”.  In addition, “The emergency department is one of the most dangerous work settings in health care for nurses due to violence from patients and visitors”.  Both physical (11%) and verbal (54%) abuse incidents were reported in the 7-day period prior to the survey.  Perpetrators were patients (97+%) under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or were psychiatric patients.

Solution:  Hospital staff can be provided with Wi-Fi tags with push-buttons.   Each tag can be associated with a specific staff member.  In case of emergency, a simple button push can be delivered to summon assistance, automatically providing the staff member location anywhere in the facility.  In addition, the alert can be used to record the event and trigger the appropriate escalation procedures .

Positive Patient Identification

Positive patient identification (PPID) is a challenge in hospitals and healthcare facilities that can be overcome by tight procedures supported by the right technologies.  Medicine pills

PPID’s benefits are speed, efficiency and the elimination of errors.  PPID is particularly important for activities such as the collection of specimens, delivery of treatment (e.g. anesthesia and surgery) and administration of medication.  The most important features of a good PPID solution are simplicity and ease of use.

Solution:  Providing patients with a Wi-Fi tag uniquely associated with the patient at the point of registration can provide, not only the patient’s location at all times, but also the mechanism to deliver simple and effective patient identification.  Navizon Magic Touch provides the functionality needed at the patient registration desk, and later on, to effect the positive identification everywhere.

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Location-based technologies in health care: Operations Management

Managing operations at a health care facility is a complex endeavor. Fortunately, location-based technologies can simplify the automatic collection of data whose analysis may lead to operational improvements that can enhance patient care while significantly lowering cost.

Staff Finding

Navigating using floor plan viewsHospitals and healthcare facilities are dynamic environments. Pinpointing where  staff members are at any time throughout the facility can be challenging, particularly during the busiest hours.  When intervention by the staff is required to address a need at a specific location, having the ability to determine who is closest can be a convenient way of making task assignments on the fly.   The results can be obvious: less disruption to everyone’s workload, better service to patients, and added flexibility in assigning resources.

Solution:  Navizon I.T.S. locates and tracks in real time individuals’ Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and/or Wi-Fi tags.  Navizon Magic Touch enables the association of a given device (its MAC address) with a specific person.

Patient Flow

Navizon Analytics: Unique visitors last 6 hoursHaving visibility of patient locations in real-time and historically over time can provide powerful insights as to quality of service, efficiency of the staff, availability of resources, and patient processing.  This may be especially true of the emergency services, where the unexpected influx of patients into the Emergency Room may lead to long delays in service and poor patient flow.  Beyond the ER, service bottlenecks in one department may trigger poor patient flow on the efficiency of other departments downstream.  In these situations, everyone suffers: patients may perceive a sub-standard service, staff may be stressed and frustrated and the hospital may be negatively impacted from a business reputation standpoint.  Patient flow analysis may provide a clear picture of the situation, leading to improvements in the service processes and/or staffing changes.

Solution:  Navizon I.T.S. by itself can track anyone carrying a Wi-Fi enabled device throughout the entire facility.  Once admitted, patients may be fitted with a Wi-Fi tag for identification, which can enable tracking not only for patient flow but also for infection management and  safety-related features like “wireless nurse calls”.

Business Intelligence

The ability to track the whereabouts of staff, patients, visitors and assets inVisitor Traffic Heat Map real time and historically, over time provides a unique opportunity for gaining useful insights about a healthcare facility’s operations.

How much time do staff members spend tending to patients?  How much time is consumed by searching for needed equipment or supplies?  What’s the average wait time for a patient wanting to check in? What are the best and worst times for equipment to be serviced when it’s up for maintenance?  Where are the bottlenecks in patient flow?  What are the bottlenecks in getting access to needed equipment?

Solution:  Combining Wi-Fi tags affixed to equipment and people with Navizon I.T.S.’ tracking in real-time and historically,  enables comprehensive and deep understanding of the inner workings of a healthcare unit.  A detailed and comprehensive view of the actual processes has the unique potential to inform decision making, improve outcome for patients, increase staff safety and effectiveness, and reduce operational costs.

Process Automation

Many tasks in a healthcare facility can be automated or streamlined for Health Care Workers in the Hospitalgreater efficiency based on location.  For example, the ability to trigger a maintenance work order for a malfunctioning equipment at the push of a button while indicating its current location. Or  to route a follow up request to the staff member physically closest to the problem area.  Or even to notify of a possible contamination all those who may have come in contact with a source of infection.  These are some of the many ways in which location-awareness can inform process automation procedures in a healthcare facility resulting in higher efficiency and lower cost.

Solution:  Combining Navizon I.T.S., custom Wi-Fi tags, Navizon Hub and Navizon Magic Touch provides a platform for a location-aware automated system that leverages  real-time and historical location information about people and assets.  The results are higher efficiency and lower operating cost.

Messaging & Alerts

Health Care Workers at the HospitalRoutine equipment maintenance, safety inspections, disinfection procedures and operational audits may take place at various times at different locations in a facility.  Staff entering the affected area may need to be reminded or notified that such activities are in progress.  There are many instances, such as the above, when automated messages targeting a specific location can be useful as opposed to blanket announcements to the entire staff, which may quickly turn into background noise.

Solution:  Navizon Hub provides a simple mechanism for delivering location-based messages to smart phones and tablets that are registered with the system.  By itself, Navizon Hub can deliver text messages. In combination with a custom app, it can easily enable extending location-based messaging to patients and visitors to automatically welcome them, and provide reminders and/or instructions for their care.

Eliminating Operational Bottlenecks

Medical equipmentAnalyzing how business processes actually work can provide insights into their effectiveness. It is often possible to detect inefficiencies whose elimination yields higher-quality outcomes for patients, increased flexibility for the staff and improved asset utilization.  Having access to the detailed history of equipment demand, usage, maintenance, breakdowns and idle time can provide valuable information for streamlining operations, improving patient and staff satisfaction.

Solution:  Affixing Wi-Fi tags to valuable assets enables Navizon I.T.S. to automatically collect detailed data of their whereabouts for detailed analysis by Lean and Six Sigma initiatives.

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Location-based technologies in health care: Patients Experience

Going to a health care facility can be stressful for patients, their families  and visitors.  That is one good reason why there are deliberate efforts made to make these facilities welcoming and cheerful.  Fortunately, location-based technologies can help by facilitating navigation through the facility, and can help locate family and friends with ease.

Patients’ Way Finding

In any medium to large size healthcare facility, finding your way to find a specific office, department, or even the location of the nearest elevator or staircase can be daunting for many people.  Particularly for patients with motion impairment of any kind, and family members assisting them.  Hospital hallway

From the moment they park their vehicle somewhere in a parking garage, there are opportunities to facilitate visitors’ finding their way to their destination in the healthcare facility, and then back to their vehicles.  Efficiency and convenience translate into a less stressful experience, and higher satisfaction.

Solution: Navizon I.T.S. provides indoor/outdoor navigation using custom floor plans on Navizon’s app. The mobile library (SDK) available for all major smartphone platforms in the market enables creation of custom apps to provide easy navigation through the facility and a vast range of convenience services for visitors.  For example, a custom app may enable visitors to “mark” their parking spot, and later have the system guide them back to their vehicles at the end of their visit and patients to find their way and destination anywhere inside the facility or hospital campus using detailed floor plans and instructions.

People Finding

Navigating using floor plan viewsFor hospital visitors, finding friends or family members in an unfamiliar facility can be simplified using their smartphones.  This may be particularly useful when directly calling others is discouraged for noise avoidance, as during night hours, or simply because smartphone ringers are turned off by regulation.

Solution:  Navizon app provides Buddy Radar and map navigation, functions that enable people to find others by locating their devices on a floor plan or map of the facility.  The mobile library (SDK) enables creation of custom apps to provide a vast range of convenience services for visitors.

 

 

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Measuring Crowds or People Counting: What’s the difference?

People counting is widely used, but can it do crowd sizing?Colorful crowd viewed from above

People counting technology has been widely used for years, and in many venues.  Most notably, it has been used by retailers to determine how many people visit their store.  But it is also used by museums, libraries, stadiums, trade shows, and more.

People counting is typically accomplished by “door counting” as people enter and exit a facility.  An array of technologies is available to do this, including pressure, magnetic, photoelectric, infrared, thermal sensors and video.  In most applications, counting accuracy is the goal, and the results are as high as a 98% accuracy rate.

But what about measuring crowds when there is no “door” to place a counter?   For instance, the target area could be a public intersection in a downtown area or the common area inside a shopping center.   And what if the need to measure the size of a crowd is temporary, such as a festival, or civic event?  In many settings, there may not be as much of a need to count the exact number of people as there is to approximate the size of the crowd.

In addition, it is not always feasible to deploy sensors that have either direct or line-of-sight contact with the subjects.   In some cases, it is important to get measurements in real-time and from multiple locations, such as venue management.  Further, the data obtained may need to be integrated with business intelligence applications for decision making.  What if it was easy to compare and contrast foot traffic across multiple-locations without elaborate, expensive integration or manual processing?

In contrast to regular people counting, crowd sizing applications benefit from flexibility, rapid installation, low deployment cost, out-of-the-box integration and real-time capabilities.  Crowd sizing applications can benefit from a new technology that counts the number of active Wi-Fi devices, such as smartphones, throughout a target area.  Introducing Navizon Analytics, the tool that provides a cost-effective answer to all those pesky crowd sizing questions.

Back story

Navizon Analytics measures foot traffic in real-time and historically over time.  Navizon detects Wi-Fi enabled smart phones and tablets throughout a target area, enabling unobtrusive crowd sizing of pedestrian traffic volumes without compromising privacy.

Some recent statistics about Wi-Fi enabled smartphones: on average, over 44% of US population uses smartphones (comScore, Dec 2011).  People between the ages of 25 and 34 are more likely to own a smartphone (62%) than any other age group.  Across the global smartphone user base sampled, 91 percent of smartphone subscribers use Wi-Fi for data usage (Mobidia, Jan 2012).  Wi-Fi accounted for 70 percent of all smartphone-originated traffic.

Monitoring Wi-Fi-based foot traffic in a private or public environment, indoors and outdoors, can provide insights about the number of and movement of people.  What volume of visitors pass by a given location each day?  What are the peak traffic hours during the day?  Throughout the week?   How does weekday traffic compare with weekend traffic?  How does traffic change between sunny and rainy days?  These are just some of the many questions that Navizon Analytics can help answer, simply and affordably.

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How can Pedestrian Counts boost Urban Planning and Real Estate development?

Urban planning modelUrban planners and real-estate developers need up-to-date information about pedestrian traffic in target areas to make informed decisions.   Executing a pedestrian study allows downtown planning associations to understand the foot traffic patterns in their districts. The results can be used to plan streetscape improvements, lease commercial property and secure special event sponsorships.

Planners need reliable data for their marketing efforts to achieve a successful retail mix.  Pedestrian studies help planners establish a baseline for foot traffic on city streets, enabling them to develop marketing insights they can share with their real estate prospects.  Real-time, ongoing data collection can positively impact building plans, marketing, pricing strategies and results over time.

Real estate developers and retail stores owners also need insight from pedestrian traffic counts to make informed business decisions.  Pedestrian counts provide baseline numbers to measure market opportunity and are an important measure of a business district’s vitality and marketing potential.

Navizon Analytics can measure pedestrian traffic in real-time and historically over time.  What is the traffic at 9 AM Monday morning? 12 PM Saturday? last week? last summer?   Navizon Analytics brings continuous data and new intelligence to urban planning decisions.

Background

Navizon Analytics measures foot traffic in real-time and historically over time.  Navizon detects Wi-Fi enabled smart phones and tablets throughout a target area, enabling quiet surveillance of pedestrian traffic volumes.  No personally identifiable information is collected to avoid compromising privacy.

Monitoring foot traffic in a private or public environment, indoors and outdoors, can provide insights about the number of and movement of people.  What volume of pedestrian traffic pass by a given location each day?  What are the peak traffic hours during the day?  Throughout the week?   How does weekday traffic compare with weekend traffic?  How does traffic change between sunny and rainy days?  These are just some of the many questions that Navizon Analytics can help answer.

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