Large facilities spread over several acres need the right technology to enhance operational performance through real-time tracking of assets located inside the facility. By opting for a comprehensive indoor navigation system, facility heads can empower their decision-making through data generated by usage of the system.
Smartphone Apps are the Zeitgeist!
The burgeoning Smartphone usage across the globe has resulted in eliminating big, small and moderate challenges faced by us on a daily basis. Maps, for instance, have helped us a great deal in exploring new spaces and places with ease. Outdoor mobile GPS (Global Positioning System) app like Google Maps has accurately traced pathways for visitors to effortlessly reach their destinations.
However, indoor positioning and navigation still remain a challenge for users of facilities such as shopping malls, convention centers, resorts, zoos, etc. Apps are the zeitgeist, as we can clearly see that most products and services availed by us have an exclusive app for use on smartphones as they minimize transaction times and present easy exit gateways.
What’s so friendly about these apps, anyway?
Indoor positioning and navigation technologies can be built as apps, which would then work precisely as a GPS technology that works for navigating outdoors. In short, we could refer to them colloquially as indoor mapping apps or ‘indoor GPS’.
In addition to indoor wayfinding and mapping, these apps could also help with:
- Recording entry and exit of visitors
- Tracking user engagement with the space
- Identifying infrastructural challenges
- Notifying users with safety instructions and alerts
- Hoteling and reservation
So, how do indoor navigation apps work?
Depending on the design of the facility, indoor navigation apps’ functionality is mostly based on Geolocation, magnetic positioning, or indoor localization technological platforms. To enable complete functionality the app has to be paired with WiFi, Bluetooth or Beacons. Usage of QR codes can also be enabled as one of the features of the app.
Once installed on a Smartphone, users can access various spaces of the facility and plan their time accordingly while the facility management can keep track of assets and address infrastructural concerns when necessary.
Few common problems faced by visitors when navigating a large facility are:
- Locating places or people inside a facility
- Getting notified about safety and security while at the facility
- Planning their route against the available time
The time spent by visitors to venues like shopping malls, offices, educational facilities, museums, zoos, etc is usually lengthier than time spent watching a movie, for instance. A survey reveals that a potential customer or visitor is not the one who spends more money while at the venue but it is that who spends more time at the venue.
Hence, when visitors are provided with a friendly ambience they might have the urge to re-visit the venue and also talk to their peers about the engaging time spent at the venue.
Visitor engagement can be re-invented with indoor navigation apps
Indoor navigation apps will positively add to the overall experience of the visitor. The management of these venues can also look forward to:
- Improving visitor experience through navigation and wayfinding options
- Analyzing user data and make decisions accordingly
- Sending notifications on deals and offers
- Notifying visitors with safety tips and alerts
- Gaining real-time feedback to improve operational efficiency
As we have seen from this outline, indoor navigation apps have real-time, measurable benefits for both visitors as well as managements of large facilities as this technology can combine multiple features into one application.