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How Does Indoor Location Tracking Work?

By | Indoor Positioning Technology | No Comments

How Does Indoor Location Tracking Work?

Long gone are the days when people primarily used paper maps to find their way around. With the popularization of GPS technology and its ubiquitous availability on smartphones, the public now expects wayfinding to be simple and easily accessible.

This can pose a problem when it comes to indoor location tracking. GPS tracking systems are amazing, but they simply don’t work indoors.

So what’s a business to do? People want to be able to find their way through malls, hospitals, universities, corporate campuses, airports, and large event sites. How can a company best meet the indoor location tracking needs of their customers and employees?

Thankfully, there have been many innovators working hard in recent years on a solution to this problem. Spreo is leading the way!

In response to the public’s need for indoor GPS, several different indoor location tracking methods have been developed. The most accurate and cost-effective of these methods is a beacon-based indoor navigation system.

Want to find out more? Here’s a quick guide on how beacon location tracking works:

  1. It All Starts with a Beacon

To understand how indoor location tracking works, you first need to know what a beacon is and how it works.

A beacon is a small device that transmits radio signals at a short range using wireless Bluetooth technology. When implementing a beacon location tracking system, there will be multiple beacons placed strategically around your building’s interior space.beacons1

The beacons do not necessarily receive information; their primary purpose is just to send out a signal that can be detected by any nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices.

  1. Then You Need a Receiver

What’s the point of sending a message if no one is listening, right? So in order for indoor location tracking to work, you need both a transmitter and a receiver. In the case of beacon-based indoor navigation, the beacon is the transmitter of the message while a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone is usually the receiver.

Once the beacon location tracking system is in place, each beacon is set up to emit its own unique signal. These signals are then picked up by any Bluetooth-enabled devices (such as smartphones) that are nearby. Using precepted signal strength, the beacons can then detect approximately how far away the Bluetooth device is and determine its location.

  1. And You Add an App

Once the beacons are communicating with the Bluetooth-enabled device, the person in possession of it needs a way to understand the information that’s being broadcast. That’s where an app comes in.

When you work with an indoor location tracking company to create your own beacon-based indoor navigation system, you need to have an app designed that meets to company’s specific set of needs.

You have a lot of options when it comes to creating your beacon-based indoor navigation app. You know that the app needs to contain a map of the facility – it is called indoor location tracking, after all. But beacon based indoor navigation is not limited to just maps. There’s so much more your app can do for you.

sdk-white-lable-ipone-6For example, if you’re in charge of a large grocery store chain, you can broadcast deals to customers based on their location in the store. If someone is in the meat department, tell them what’s on sale or give them information on the various cuts of meat available. If they’re in the cheese aisle, offer them a two-for-one coupon on gouda.

But maybe you don’t want an all-new app to be created. Many businesses today already have a successful app in place. If your company has an already-existing app, there’s good news for you – indoor location tracking technology can be integrated into the system you currently have.

Indoor Location Tracking Is Here to Stay

Now that the technology for beacon location tracking has been developed and tested, its popularity is steadily rising. Innovative companies in the field have even started to improve upon beacon-based indoor navigation by combining it with wi-fi positioning, the cloud, and other technologies.

The future is bright for indoor location tracking. If you’re interested in finding out more about how this technology could benefit your company, feel free to call us at 646-863-4941 or use the contact form on this site.

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What is the state of the proximity industry? Find out here.

By | Indoor Positioning Technology, Indoor Technology and Innovation, News | No Comments

The Proximity.Directory report is out for the first quarter of 2017 and it focuses on the growth of proximity technology in retail stores across the United States. The use of proximity solutions continues to grow globally. Here in the U.S. the bottom line for retailers is that the use of proximity data and technology may be the one thing that is keeping customers in their brick and mortar stores.  

Here are the highlights:

  1. As of Q1 2017, 14,486,000 sensors are registered to have been deployed globally, an 11% increase compared to the previous quarter:
    1. Beacons account for 65%
    2. Wi-Fi points: 20%, an 11% increase from Q4 2016
    3. NFC:15%
  2. The countries with the most Proximity Solution Providers are:
    1. United States: 134 companies
    2. United Kingdom: 39
  3. Retail & shopping malls are still the most popular segments for proximity solutions, while 50% of the PSPs operate in 10 or more verticals.
  4. 75% of top 20 U.S. retailers have implemented proximity technologies.
    1. Wal-mart implemented proximity solutions in 2014, Target in 2015.
    2. Macy’s implemented proximity solutions in all 800 stores nationwide.
    3. Rite Aid: more than 4,500 stores.
  5. Brick-and-mortar retailers face challenges. A steep and persistent drop in store traffic leads to decreased sales. According to the US Department of Commerce, U.S. department store sales have declined by 31.2% from 2005 to 2015.

However, consumers still enjoy traditional shopping as more than 90% of sales come from “brick and mortar” retailers. To keep those customers, retailers are finding it necessary to develop excellent in-store experiences and create personalized purchasing journeys.

Retailers with implemented proximity solutions are able to get a real-time overview of the customer behavior, adjust strategies accordingly, increase engagement, and boost sales.

Beacon technology allows analyzing traffic pathways throughout the store and gives insights into the most frequently visited areas.

SPREO retail case study on the use of geofencing and proximity

The Q1 2017 Proximity.Directory report features a case study on the SPREO implementation of proximity and geofencing technology for one of the largest mall owners in the United States, Taubman. We implemented our proximity and geofencing technology in 18 large Taubman malls across the country. There were multiple objectives:

  • Improve the visitor experience at Taubman’s shopping malls
  • Increase visitor engagement and satisfaction
  • Centralize all store information, promotions, news and buzz notifications in one versatile app
  • Gather analytic insights from the venue traffic and user behavior data

We answered these challenges with a mobile application that provides an enhanced shopping experience to visitors of each mall. The solution includes useful tools such as visual and audio indoor navigation and a “Save my Parking Spot” function, among others. It provides each mall with an integrated indoor navigation and positioning solution along with location-based services (LBS). The solution utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and SPREO’s Software Development Kit for Android and iOS mobile applications.

The app, which is the first of its kind in a major shopping center in the United States, offers shoppers and visitors easy access to a wide variety of innovative and useful indoor location-based services, including voice and visual blue-dot turn-by-turn real-time indoor navigation.

What is the future of proximity technology?

The Proximity report says that GPS/Geofencing combined with Wi-Fi has shown the most growth since Q1 2016 and continues to grow. GPS/Geofencing accounts for 226 companies and Wi-Fi accounts for 135 companies.

The five verticals where proximity companies are operating are:

  1. Retail
  2. Shopping malls
  3. Hotels & tourism
  4. Stadiums/sports
  5. Airports

The report predicts growth in all verticals because 50% of the PSPs in the directory are operating in 10 verticals or more while as many as 14% are operating in all of them.

SPREO operates in all of the top five verticals, providing proximity, geofencing and other proprietary technologies. Watch this space as we continue to report on movement and global growth in each of them.

 

 

Wayfinding is a strange word.

By | Indoor Technology and Innovation | No Comments

Wayfinding is a strange word. It’s really an abbreviation for “finding your way”. It is used to describe systems that help you to find your way through a facility or venue using signage and directional information. It is as much an art as it is a science.

Wayfinding systems are expected to successfully direct people in widely differing circumstances and locations. Wayfinding must take into account how people read and process information, where they instinctively look for signs and how they interpret arrows. It must try to do that despite widely varying literacy levels, language barriers and disabilities of the people who will be attempting to follow the directions.

You may no longer notice it, but wayfinding moves you from the door of your favorite  coffee shop to ordering to pick up. You also depend upon it to move you successfully through airports the size of small cities, from parking to the ticket counter to the gate. Wayfinding also moves you through hospitals, whether you are arriving calmly for a doctor’s appointment or are terrified and rushing to find an injured loved one in the emergency room. These are just some of the complex circumstances under which wayfinding must hold up.

Enter the mobile app for wayfinding.

Like everything else, mobile apps are improving wayfinding and putting easily understood directional information into the palm of the user’s hand. Whereas traditional, fixed wayfinding signage quickly becomes obsolete when facilities renovate and expand, wayfinding maps in mobile apps can be adjusted in minutes with the click of a button. Where the size of traditional wayfinding signage limits its ability to address numerous languages, a mobile app is in the language of the user. Mobile wayfinding solves innumerable problems inherent in traditional traditional wayfinding, not the least of which is cost.

That’s what we do – we solve wayfinding problems. SPREO has spent years investigating the psychology and science of wayfinding, its impact on businesses ranging from hospitals and stadiums to resorts and shopping centers. We understand the unique impact of ineffective wayfinding systems on hospital revenue and patient satisfaction.

Wayfinding is all about knowing your location

One major problem, and the key to successful wayfinding – is knowing where you are in relation to your destination at any point in time. That poses a difficulty for mobile wayfinding apps because GPS technology does not work indoor. However, SPREO solved that issue with a proprietary technology that enables indoor positioning accuracy. Users know where they are at any moment in time in relation to their entry point and desired destination. Our proprietary technology has made wayfinding agile, scalable, flexible and economically feasible.

Technology has brought wayfinding into a brave new world. Now facilities can respond to customer demands for easy navigation of large facilities. Management can improve revenue and avoid lost productivity (as staff loses work time repeatedly giving directions). Wayfinding is woven into the fabric of every business and we’re going to tell you how technology is moving it into the 21st century. Stay tuned to this space as we share with you our insights, industry research and information on wayfinding.   

 

SPREO ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF AFFORDABLE, RAPID DEPLOYMENT MOBILE WAYFINDING APP FOR HEALTHCARE

By | Indoor Technology and Innovation | No Comments

SPREO ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF AFFORDABLE, RAPID DEPLOYMENT  MOBILE WAYFINDING APP FOR HEALTHCARE

Quick Start iOS and Android app solves indoor GPS deficiencies with proprietary technology

NEW YORK, Mar. 2nd, 2017: SPREO Indoor Location Solutions has announced the launch of a rapid deployment mobile wayfinding app for health care systems and hospitals. It is priced to be the most cost effective mobile app available on the market, allowing rapid deployment and easy adoption for stressed healthcare systems. The QUICK START wayfinding mobile app can be implemented with minimal involvement and support from internal departments.

The  SPREO QUICK START mobile wayfinding app uses an interactive mobile map to lead users step-by-step across expansive hospital campuses and complex buildings. It is designed to reduce patient frustration and anxiety by making it easy to navigate to multiple specialty centers and through the multiple floors, wings and towers of hospital buildings. SPREO QUICK START gives patients an intuitive mobile map that allows them to find their way from home to parking to multiple appointments and back.

“The proprietary technology of SPREO provides reliable and accurate indoor positioning so that users always know where they are,” said Avi Sacajiu, SPREO Founder and CEO.  “SPREO is the first company to develop and deploy proprietary technology that enables indoor positioning accuracy. GPS technology does not work indoor. SPREO technology allows users to know where they are at any moment in time in relation to their entry point and desired destination.”

SPREO Quick Start Includes:

  • iOS and Android mobile application software
  • Onsite rapid installation
  • Data preparation for easy installation
  • End-to-end project management
  • Secured cloud ecosystem for system & content management
  • Branded wayfinding mobile  app for your hospital

 

SPREO QUICK START removes obstacles to hospital revenue by reducing missed patient appointments, increasing patient satisfaction and reducing staff interruptions by patients and visitors asking for directions. Missed appointments cost the U.S. healthcare system more than $150 billion a year. Studies* have found that problems in wayfinding at Emory University Hospital cost the institution $220,000 annually.

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*Zimring, C. The Costs of Confusion: Non-monetary and Monetary Costs of the Emory University Hospital Wayfinding System; Georgia Institute of Technology: Atlanta, GA, USA, 1990

Daytona 500 Mobile App Launches with Spreo Location Tech

By | Indoor Technology and Innovation | No Comments

Are you a NASCAR fan?

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Things are heating up in sunny Florida as time ticks down to the biggest NASCAR race event of the year, the Daytona 500. Time trials and qualifiers have been completed, and the big race is Sunday, February 21.

International Speedway Corp and Daytona International Speedway selected Spreo to provide interactive mapping, wayfinding and location-based alerting to elevate the fan experience. With over 150,000 people expected to attend the event, the official Daytona App for iOS and Android is a must-have to receive up-to-the-minute alerts, multimedia, and location-based experiences.

The app helps fans save the location of their parking spot and navigate them to any of the hundreds of various amenities, activities and concessions. Spreo installed about a thousand Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons around the facility to enable live, mobile engagement, high-performance ‘Blue Dot’ location and dynamic step-by-step navigation. The infrastructure also enables Proximity and Geofence alerts to give fans the best offers and tips on how to explore and enjoy the brand new concourse and sponsored zones.

For more information check out www.daytonarising.com and www.daytona500.com and download the app today on Android and iOS!

Place Indoor Location Conference in NYC

By | Events, Indoor Positioning Technology, News | No Comments

Place conference pictures

The “blue dot” following the indoor location dialogue is coming to SPREO’s hometown, New York City, during the Place Conference next month. The conference, presented by Opus Research, is a one day event that will take place Tuesday June 9th, 2015. The focus of the event is to understand the power of indoor location technology and how it can power consumer engagement and business development.

There will be speakers from the retail and consumer market shedding light to the ways in which indoor location technology has and will enhance the industry. In addition to many industry leaders, Ivan Frank of the Taubman Company will be describing “The Taubman Mall” case study, involving SPREO indoor positioning system and software. Ivan is the director of Digital Marketing, and he continues to work closely with SPREO to integrate innovative location-aware technology in the Taubman Centers mobile apps to ensure that our technology empowers shoppers with a variety of helpful use cases.

In addition to consumer industry leaders, there will be companies present that are leaders in different facets of the indoor location based services and technology industry, including representatives from SPREO. This conference is an example of the growth of the indoor location market, as location awareness quickly becomes an integral part of the internet of things. SPREO believes that this technology is reshaping and influencing the future of digital consumer engagement.

 

To find out more about the Place Conference check out the conference’s website here: http://opusresearch.cvent.com/events/place-2015-nyc/event-summary-d7083afbcab7442086ea1b1b69958fa9.aspx

 

 

 

WFLA NBC 8 TV News Feature Positively Reviewed The Mall at UTC App [Video]

By | Buzzworthy, Indoor Technology and Innovation, News | No Comments

Happy New Year from everyone at SPREO!

SPREO Director of Marketing was recently interviewed by WNCN investigative news reporter John Rogers for a feature on the new Mall at UTC app. See the video below, courtesy of WNCN.

 

SPREO Announces Deal with The Taubman Company to Provide Indoor Navigation and Positioning to Taubman Centers Retail Shopping Malls

By | Buzzworthy, Indoor Technology and Innovation, News | No Comments

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SPREO technology powers the first-of-its-kind indoor positioning and indoor navigation (IPIN) system that is embedded via SDK in the Taubman Centers mobile experience app. SPREO indoor location technology generates sub-meter location accuracy for both Android and iOS mobile devices indoors.

The deal between SPREO and The Taubman Centers is to provide an integrated indoor location based services (LBS) solution that includes Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) SMART™ beacons, Software Development Kit (SDK) integrations for Android and iOS mobile applications, and licenses for indoor positioning services at Taubman shopping centers nationwide.

Co-Founder and CEO Avi Sacajiu said, “SPREO has solved significant technical challenges related to using RF signals for precise mobile device location in large, crowded open spaces, including detecting floor level accuracy and navigation directions. We’ve gained expertise in managing and deploying BLE beacons to offer a reliable and useful user experience. I am excited to leverage SPREO indoor technology in retail, healthcare, hospitality, government, security, tradeshows, education and enterprise. SPREO’s solution and the success of this deployment paints a promising future for our company.”

SPREO Demonstrated Indoor Location & Navigation at Location & Context World Tradeshow Event

By | Buzzworthy, Indoor Positioning Technology | No Comments

SPREO sponsored the first-of-its-kind tradeshow event specializing and focusing on indoor location-based services, technology and applications. This was a two day event that was attended by industry leaders and influencers around trending topics such as iBeacons, location-based notifications, brand mobile engagement best practices and more. The packed days included lectures, panels and sessions devoted to exploring the ins and outs of Location and Context. SPREO was a premier sponsor and also demonstrated our location solution, which is currently implemented in shopping centers and hospitals around the world.

Another attendee was WalMart, and Wendy Bergh, VP of Walmart eCommerce, stated the success that their team has seen with in-store location-based features to customers to help improve the shopping experience.

“Walmart launched the new Search My Store feature on iPhone and Android this fall. Search My Store allows customers to search their local store to find out the price, location and availability of merchandise. Walmart was also first to market with Store Mode in 2012, which used geo-fencing to provide a unique in-store experience to customers via the App.”

Bergh was also excited to “learn from other leaders in the mobile space on how they are using location to better service their customers.”

David Montoya, CEO and Co-Founder of Satisfi, was another panel leader who pointed out that one of the biggest challenges in the LBS space is “developing solutions (via apps and software platforms) that actually solve the issues that consumers face. Just because you can build something doesn’t mean it solves a need of the consumer in a location/context-aware scenario.”

These were two great examples of industry leaders focusing on the challenges that consumers face, and how location-based services can solve these issues while empowering customers with a mobile solution in the palm of their hand. It is this same thinking that drives SPREO and our platform that includes features like ‘Blue Dot’ indoor navigation, Find My Friends indoors, Save My Parking Spot, location-based notifications management, interactive maps and directories.

We also heard from Natasha Léger, Editor LBx Journal & President, The Location Forum, whose organization coined a term we hadn’t heard before, Locationomics, “which is the use of location data about people, places, assets and situations by businesses and organizations to enable them to save time and money, operate more efficiently, better serve existing and future customers, and identify new product and service opportunities.”

We couldn’t agree more with Natasha’s view, and we feel that SPREO’s value proposition intrinsically consists of the many ways that we enable venues and their visitors to function and engage more fluidly and intuitively while saving time, money and headaches.

SPREO Selected as a Finalist at the Citi Mobile Challenge U.S. 2014

By | Buzzworthy, Indoor Technology and Innovation | No Comments

citi-mobile-challenge With SPREO technology live in several malls, hospitals and office buildings around the world, we approached the Citi Mobile Challenge U.S. 2014 as an opportunity to demonstrate our technology and its many valuable benefits and use cases in the ‘FinTech’ (Finance technology) sector.

Our submission was CILE, Customer Identification and Local Engagement, a BLE-based SDK location platform that provides bank staff and visitors with account information and contextual information to enrich the banking experience and increase efficiencies.

CILE-customer-screen Each teller, equipped with a license and integration of the CILE SDK on their corporate mobile device, tablet or computer, would receive location-based notifications and customer information in real-time. This mobile solution empowers local bank tellers to offer the best customer service in the world and provides several competitive advantages. In our mind, the solution is relevant to banking, casinos, hotels, clubs… any venue that has customers and benefits from a customer-centric and personalized concierge app.

A panel of entrepreneurs, investors and leaders in technology and banking reviewed our submission and selected SPREO as a finalist. There were three demonstration events: Silicon Valley on Nov. 10, New York on Nov. 12, and Miami on Nov. 14. SPREO presented at the New York City demo at a venue just minutes from our lower midtown headquarters.

Jorge Ruiz, Business Development and Digital Banking Head for Citi Latin America, spearheaded the Citi Mobile Challenges, and remarked, “The competitors have infused our organization with innovative ideas in both the Consumer and Corporate Banking areas, which will be at the forefront of mobile banking innovation. Their contributions have the potential to impact millions around the world, and we look forward to continue working with each of them over the coming months.”

Jorge Rubio, Inclusive Finance & Microfinance Head for Citi Latin America added, “Digital technologies and mobile channels have enormous potential to expand financial inclusion across markets. We couldn’t be happier with the results because many of the solutions presented can help us better serve our institutional clients as they expand the outreach in their supply and distribution chains, while at the same time contributing to the development of more inclusive financial systems.”

SPREO is proud to be awarded as a finalist in the competition, after hundreds of submissions were reviewed, and we want to thank Jorge and everyone at Citibank for the great opportunity and experience.

Citi is offering a total of $100,000 in prizes, with $50,000 being awarded to the most Innovative Mobile Solution and $50,000 given to the best Internet of Things/Wearable idea. The finalists that are selected will also be invited to conduct a commercial relationship with the bank and may even be able to implement their concepts into Citi’s partner accelerator programs.

 

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