Go ahead, get that second beer. Call your Mom. You have time. This holiday season, location intelligence and indoor mapping technology is a traveler’s best friend. Now, simply by opening up your airline app, you’ll be able to see in digital reality, exactly how many minutes your security line wait is, how long the wait is at Starbucks and where the nearest airport lounge is.
This is just one use case. The opportunity for wayfinding and location intelligence technology is huge. Airports are some of the busiest and least technologically savvy places in the world. While some airports, including George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (Houston), have made major strides in wayfinding technology, the majority of airports are behind the curve. They pose a perfect opportunity for location intelligence technology – a market expected to reach 25.25 billion by 2025.
Indoor location is difficult for a few obvious reasons. There’s no GPS, and construction and other updates means things constantly change. The first step is to build a “map” with vector data and a database of key assets and areas of the building. Next, a precise indoor positioning solution is deployed. LocusLabs, with help from other technology providers, delivers this as a software platform to airports and other smart spaces worldwide, allowing passengers and staff to optimize their time from curb to gate. A combination of scalable reality capture and artifical intelligence technologies are used.
Below are some ways that smart buildings will change our lives.
Where to Begin
Of course, the decision to employ new technology falls into the hands of one of the busiest executives in the C-suite: the CIO.
Between monitoring hardware, software, employees, and new vendors, CIO’s have a lot on their plate. Creating “smart” buildings in the enterprise offers significant benefits, including intelligence, marketing opportunities, and improved visitor efficiency.
Here are are a few ideas for the busy CIO or IT decision maker, on how to start creating smart spaces, using airports as a case study.
Alleviating Pain Points (with Intelligence)
For the airline industry in particular, if you’ve traveled lately, you may notice that airports can only expand so much–and some can’t at all. While physical space is dwindling, there is still a way to maximize efficiencies, by expanding the location intelligence of these buildings.
Imagine if the security checkpoint waiting time could be crowdsourced and predictive analytics applied so passengers know in real time, how long they would have to wait even during seeminly unpredictable holiday periods.
Imagine if travelers knew ahead of time exactly how long it is going to take them to reach their transfer gate during a layover and could be presented with relevant recommendations along their way.
Imagine that regardless of where an air traveler was in the airport, there was a unified wayfinding system would present a contextual view across every mobile app, digital sign, website, and interactive kiosk tailored to that passenger’s itinerary.
Imagine, giving gate agents a real-time view of exactly where a passenger is and when she will arrive at the gate, empowering him to either hold the flight or rebook and give the seat to a waiting standby passenger.
In the same way outdoor maps and GPS enable an outstanding user experience for companies like Uber and drive incredible efficiency in logistics for businesses like FedEx, airports need a similar platform that’s equally as easy that serves real time information, to alleviate some of the most common pain points.
The Major Market Opportunity (and marketing opportunity)
According to Airlines for America, 28.5 million people were expected to travel during the week of Thanksgiving alone last year. That’s 28.5 million people standing in line during security, looking for something to do at the gate, waiting yet again at luggage claim, and killing time while waiting for a shuttle or Lyft ride.
As a marketing opportunity, maps and local search in an airport are huge, and can act as a vehicle to drive awareness of what the airport has to offer and present hyper-relevant recommendations to millions of passengers who will spend money if it means making the the most of their time.
Imagine if travellers could explore how to spend their time when they get through TSA. If passengers knew EXACTLY when to head to their gate based on their current location, it would mean more time at the magazine shop, food stand, or bar. The opportunity for retailers and concessions is ten-fold: retailers and concessions can present photos and marketing material within apps used by millions of travelers. This is an even larger audience than is reached by airport outdoor advertisers such as Clear Channel and JCDecaux. When you are walking through the airport, look around. Do you see more people looking up at billboards or at their phones?
The opportunity for airlines is exponential, with the ability to promote their lounges and clubs by highlighting specific amenities and showing the layout on the map. Happier, less stressed travelers spend more, which benefits the airports, creating a win-win.
Improving Visitor Efficiency (beyond the airport)
While airports are an obvious use case for smart building technology now and one we are beginning to learn a lot from, in the near future, every CIO will be tasked with designing smart buildings.
According to Dresner Advisory Services’ 2018 Location Intelligence Market Study, 66 percent of enterprises rank location intelligence as either critical or very important to ongoing revenue growth strategies, and it’s no wonder why.
If you’ve worked in a modern office or campus, you know what a struggle it can be to find a conference room during a specific time window, or where a coworker sits, or an available hotdesk. This technology can automatically suggest the most convenient space to meet based on location of each participant, and show which areas are used the least, informing business owners how to save on energy costs. While casinos are filled with cameras to prevent fraud, many still lack accurate location-based data to inform the owners of the highest traffic areas, or analytics that show where and when quiet times occur. Location-based intelligence could generate personalized itineraries for a guest’s stay, increasing the likelihood that they’ll return. Holiday shoppers could have a personalized path to the product search results in any retail mall they enter, instead of wasting time wandering around hoping they come across something they like and possibly getting so frustrated that they leave.
Sports fans could maximize their time spent at a baseball game entering and leaving as well as looking for their favorite beverage or snack.
Every commercial building out there could have a web address, in addition to a physical address, which pulls up a digital building directory giving visitors, staff, contractors, and emergency responders a view containing everything they need to know about that physical space.
The opportunities are endless. Looking ahead at 2019, airlines and airports will continue to invest in smart building technologies to continually improve the passenger experience, increase revenue, and drive operational efficiency. This is driving expectations in other sectors, and CIOs should start considering how digital building initiatives can impact their business.
Read full article on Forbes