10 Indoor Navigation Tips From Top Solution Providers

10 Indoor Navigation Tips From Top Solution Providers

What makes an indoor navigation project or partnership successful? We talked to 10 top solution providers in the space to find out.

This list is particularly helpful for solution providers looking to make sure their next project is a hit. However, it can also help business owners and managers looking into indoor navigation projects better understand what to expect.

 


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Indoor navigation tip: Make accessibility your priority from day one

“Thinking of accessibility from day one was our main priority. The main lesson is to design with all users in mind and get the UX right from the get-go.”

“In our deployments such as with Harrods, we have multiple routing options. For example, the ability to choose only pathways that use elevators instead of staircases or escalators. In addition to that, we believe in partnerships and have been investing in merging our tech with binaural audio systems to help visually impaired passengers independently navigate train stations and airports.”

“Ximity’s first major beacon deployment was at a 70,000 square meter convention center in Manila, Philippines. With a feature set that includes proximity marketing, indoor navigation, and gamification, one would think that software development would be the most challenging aspect of the project.”

“However, we realized that beacon deployment strategy — figuring out the correct placement and configuration for each beacon — was equally time-consuming and required careful planning. Conveniently, Kontakt provides a great starting point through their knowledge base, and their online dashboard and mobile application were the perfect tools to calibrate our beacons on-site.”

“It isn’t always enough to create a great product. Implementing it in a way that drives results requires foresight and understanding. Consider making the following part of your core work:

  • “Provide insightful data (real-time insights into attendee behavior and venue performance) to exhibitors in order to calculate ROI.
  • “Create a multifunctional app to increase the downloads (not just indoor nav but also location based content, list of exhibitors, conferences).”

Learn how does beacon-powered indoor navigation work in practice

“The less accuracy is required, the more reliably the system will work and you can do so with fewer beacons.”

“For example, sometimes room-level detection is enough for the concept to work. One of our main challenges is that in museums, you can’t just place beacons anywhere you like, but often must be placed out of sight. To be able to create an infrastructure that still works within these constraints, it’s really important you know how a beacon signal works. Often you’ll encounter situations where the beacon infrastructure still has some issues, to solve them the right tooling is really important.

“The right tooling gives insight in how strong all signals are actually measured, and based on this information you can accurately fine-tune your infrastructure, whereas without this information you’d be only guessing and hoping your changes will work.”

Indoor navigation tip: Plan ahead & be aware of distribution

“There is great importance in laying out a concrete deployment plan in advance and agreeing on the responsibilities of each party before the actual installation day. We have seen some bad situations occur because of a lack of communication.”

“Also, an uneven distribution of beacons in the venue could be another source of problems including serious issues for some types of positioning algorithms. This is why we focused so hard on our fingerprinting methods.”

Indoor navigation tip: Clarify ROI

“One of our biggest learnings is that projects can only be realized when a real Return on Investment is identified. Otherwise, even though it may be an interesting use case, chances are high that the project won’t be funded.”

“In cases such as our High Point Market project deployment, indoor positioning is able to add significant value to the venue and event for all involved parties – visitors are easily able to find their way around, buyers can increase traffic to their booth, and event managers are able to obtain valuable analytical location data. Lots of time and money can be saved, experiences improved, and data analyzed for future optimizations. Use cases like this are clearly backed by a substantial ROI.”

Indoor navigation tip: Know your venue

“Installing an IPS can be difficult in certain settings. For example, at trade fairs, you have to deal with short set-up periods which requires precise planning and consultations beforehand. When installing beacons in a space with lots of Wi-Fi signals, you have to pay attention to avoid interferences by not using the same channels which is tricky, as exhibitors are often configuring networks as they like.”

“Also, you have to take attenuation properties of different materials into account during installation and parameterization (e.g. wood or glass with low attenuation properties as opposed to metal or water with high attenuation properties).”

Indoor navigation tip: Leverage experience & education

“First of all, educating clients is our first aim. The knowledge of beacon technology is still not fully understood. Before any deployment, we take time with our clients and explain beacon technology to them and how it will affect their business.”

“The bigger the venues are, the bigger navigation becomes a major problem. High numbers of points of interest creates an increased need for a deeply professional solution. At such a point, we rely heavily on the experience of our team.”

Indoor navigation tip: Always be learning & adapt quickly

“Due to the many annexes and departments being built over the years, hospitals can become real labyrinths.”

“When we developed our technology at the Monthey Hospital, the hospital decided to use our technology to remove concerns about patients getting lost. We had to make specific modifications to our solution in order to meet the expectations and constraints of the hospital world. For example, we needed to add pictures of places to help navigate and reassure patients as they move. This is just one example of the many ways you must always be ready to adapt.”

Indoor navigation tip: Expect resistance

“Adoption takes time.”

“This comes down to two factors. Firstly, there is often a long bureaucratic process in large companies. Secondly, there is a willingness to innovate, but there is also hesitation due to misconceptions about indoor navigation technology. We must work to shift this perception.”


 

Hannah Augur - Photo
Content writer / tech blogger / geek based in Berlin. Hannah reports on all things tech and has a medium-sized tolerance for buzzwords.

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