Indoor navigation is really on the rise these years, but what we see now may just be a foretaste of what we can expect in the coming years. Deloitte Global predicts that 25 percent of all uses of digital navigation will be either “pure” indoor navigation or include indoor navigation to achieve something beyond wayfinding. But what makes indoor navigation so popular and important?
Clearly, the main benefit of indoor navigation is wayfinding and as airports, universities, corporate offices, hospitals, sports arenas, etc., get bigger and more complex, the need for indoor navigation increases. However, the possibilities of indoor navigation go far beyond wayfinding.
A good indoor navigation solution is easy to integrate with third party data providers. This allows you to extend your solution and customize it so it matches your specific needs. Let us give you a few examples.
The digital guide
Museums can be hard for visitors to navigate when the halls are crowded with people. Additionally, they are, most often, filled to the brim with amazing objects and art works. This leaves visitors wandering between pieces without really seeing any of them in their attempt to see them all.
In a 2017 guide on how to navigate a museum, The New York Times gives museum visitors advises on how to get the most out of their visit. Among other things, the paper advises people to spend between 90 minutes and two hours at most at the museum as staying longer will just result in sensory overload. Visitors should also focus on 20 pieces instead of just briefly glancing at them all. Finally, it recommends using audio tours if available or booking a private guide, which is, however, quite expensive.
By combining indoor navigation and indoor positioning technology, museums can offer visitors all of the above. With indoor navigation, visitors can plan their visite ahead and easily navigate from piece to piece when on site. This means that they can spend their time on the 20 pieces, they have decided to see instead of just wandering around getting overwhelmed.
Thanks to the indoor positioning technology, the app will know exactly which piece the visitor is admiring. This allows the app to push notifications with information about the respective piece. In other words, visitors have both indoor navigation and a guide at the palms of their hands.
The solution can even be combined with augmented reality to create a real, digital guide. This means that when visitors hold their phone in front a specific piece, then a guide will appear on the phone telling about the piece.
Navigating work - and love
Desk sharing has gained popularity since the 1990’s and became really popular around 2014, when research showed that just 59 percent of desks were occupied during a traditional week. It is an office organisation system, where employees choose from a selection of available desks rather than having their own assigned workspace.
During the last couple of years, studies have shown that the shared desks come with some logistic drawbacks. Today, technology allows organisations to navigate around these drawbacks, and a recent survey showed that two-thirds of multinational corporations plan to implement shared-desks workspaces by 2020.
The main downside of these flexible desks is finding an available desk. With no overview of available and occupied workspaces, employees waste time searching for a place to work. This problem can be eliminated with an indoor navigation solution. An indoor navigation application shows all important points of interest, in this case desks. The app will also show which workspaces are available and employees can even book their desk for the day in the app.
Corporate offices are often large and can be spread out on several buildings. With the indoor navigation solution, employees get turn-by-turn navigation and will have no problem finding their booked desk even though they may not be familiar with the building. It is also possible to integrate calendars in the solution, so colleagues can easily locate each other and book meetings. Of course, this setup can also be used at trade shows to find exhibitors or meet with business partners.
Another - and quite different - example is the combination of a location-based dating app and indoor navigation, which makes it easier for people to actually meet. When two people swipe right on one another, the dating app will find a nearby venue with indoor navigation and suggest it as meeting point. The combination also makes it easier to look for love at big events or locations such as concerts or sports events. Again, it is possible to integrate calendars, so potential lovebirds can easily find the perfect time to meet
Keeping track of a child can be quite a challenge in large and crowded places like airports, shopping malls, amusement parks, etc. This leaves parents and caretakers stressed and worried, and what should have been a fun and relaxing day can quickly turn into a nightmare.
According to Parent Guide News, American children get lost more than 2,000 times a day in public places. Although few are willing to admit it, 90 percent of all families are affected by this accidental wandering.
With indoor navigation and gps bracelets, large and crowded venues can offer parents peace of mind by letting them know exactly where their children are. When entering the building, children are equipped with a gps bracelet allowing parents to track the kids on their phone.
Thanks to indoor navigation, parents can always see the fastest route to their kids. This allows families to reunite quickly and relieves the immediate panic parents and caretakers feel when realising a child is missing.
These are just a few examples on how indoor navigation can be used for more than just navigation. As technology advances, only your imagination is the limit.
If you have any questions regarding indoor navigation and its possibilities, please contact our MapsIndoors specialists.
Sebastian Bo Jensen
Partner Sales Manager, Denmark
Tel. +45 2687 8074
Partner Manager, DACH
Tel. +45 2687 8075
Partner Manager, France and Benelux
Tel. +45 5337 7031
Tel. +45 6018 6866