Category Archives: Indoor Technology and Innovation

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

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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

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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, 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!

women holding ipod walking through big city

Trip Planner for Malls

By | Buzzworthy, Indoor Positioning Technology, Indoor Technology and Innovation, Indoor Wayfinding | No Comments

Imagine that it’s July 3rd and you are on your home from work. You still need to make a last minute shopping trip to get ready for your 4th of July BBQ. You step into the mall look left, right and realize holy smokes! Where do I get patriotic table runners… lawn games… and a pair of red, white and blue sunglasses before the mall closes?

One answer for you: multi-point trip planner.

In addition to positioning and navigation, there are some really helpful features that SPREO’s technology offers. One of the features is multi destination trips (or multi-POI trips).  Add desired stores, or even the individual items you are looking for, to your itinerary and the app will compile the shortest trip for you. Taking into account store times, and other restrictions, the app will make sure that no time is wasted. Trips can be pre-planned before the visitor enters to the shopping center.  With the multi-POI trip SPREO is able to add ease and efficiency to what can be an overwhelming and timely experience.

Not only is this extremely helpful to the user but the facility benefits as well. The feature helps the mall owner know what stores are most frequently visited, which store groups are visited together, and where the foot traffic is heaviest. This helps to maximize the mall’s free-standing carts and food-stands, optimize sales, and manage the mall layout. SPREO envisions that the benefits of this multi-POI will expand to include workforce management and add simplicity to the stock-room. For example, with the multi-POI feature, an employee can easily find and retrieve items from a back warehouse in a timely fashion.

 

seinfeld parking lot 2

Car Finder and Indoor Parking Solution

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

For many visitors, the parking lot is a place of anxiety, confusion and maybe even a little comedy. So much so that Seinfeld once spent an entire episode watching the world of Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer spiral sideways as they struggle to cope with the uneasy feeling of being lost in a massive parking lot – in this case a covered parking garage in a New Jersey shopping center.

We can all relate. Parking lots are massive, and there is very little to help you distinguish between ” Section Blue, Aisle 7” and “Section Yellow, Aisle 7”. What Jerry & Co. needed was some sort of indoor positioning system to save their parking spot on arrival and help them to easily navigate back again at the end of their trip…

Achieving positioning in an enclosed parking lot goes beyond the regular challenges of indoor spaces. Not only do the regular difficulties of finding indoor location need to be considered, but a parking lot is a much larger space that does not have any pathways (a user can walk almost everywhere). Often, there is no cellular signal coverage, and of course GPS doesn’t work either.

short hills 3

short hills view

Take the Mall at Short Hills as an example. In addition to an outdoor parking lot, there is a multi-floor enclosed parking garage. The parking complex is much larger than the mall itself, has connecting hallways, and an open-air top floor that can use GPS signals for location. SPREO has been able to efficiently use Bluetooth SMART Low Energy beacon signals and adapted the location technology for a smooth transition between Shopping Center and Parking Lot. Visitors of the mall will be able to save their parking spot, shop, dine and return to their car without any fuss.

SPREO sees a big future for the use of location in parking complexes. Soon, upon arrival to your crowded venue destination, your mobile app will detect and notify you which parking spots are free. allowing for a stress-free parking experience. The future awaits.

Meanwhile, here’s Jerry and the Crew in the classic epiosde:

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

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taubman-logo-50SPREO-logo-w-tag144x60

 

 

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

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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.

 

Contextual Signifiers in Directions Make Navigation Easier

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It was a routine part of our conversations when we first moved in together. I had lived here my whole life, while my wife grew up in a different city.

Me: What do you see to your right?

Her: A three-story building with the third floor painted red.

Me: Okay… so to your left do you see a grocery store?

Her: Yes!

Me: Great.  Continue straight and turn left at the traffic light. You’ll see a barbershop. Turn right a few feet after and you’re there!

While it might seem comical now, she called me everyday for years as she searched for and navigated to various destinations – which was a necessary part of her job.  It was both a part of the routine and a daily struggle. This was in the pre-smartphone and navigation software era. And though we no longer use Mapscos (remember those?) or impossible-to-fold streetmaps, for most of us the challenge of navigation is still an intrinsic part of our daily routines: which subway to take, which bus, which hallway, which floor, where’s the bathroom, and so on.

These days, this type of context-based navigation directions is still common when talking to someone familiar with the area.  What I’ve discovered is that these same contextual signifiers are in fact the most effective navigation directions even when using a navigation application instead of talking to a friend or family member.  So we’ve integrated this type of instruction into the SPREO live, step-by-step indoor navigation technology. Whether you’re in a shopping mall, super market, hospital, or any large venue, you get intuitive, landmark-based signifiers that ensure  you won’t get lost. (And don’t worry, if you do our route auto-correction will get you back on track!) maze

There’s a bright future ahead for indoor navigation in venues. With the technology SPREO has developed, we believe that we can utilize existing and scale-able infrastructure to empower seamless outdoor-to-indoor and indoor-to-outdoor navigation that will reduce stress, increase operational efficiencies, and elevate visitor experience for everyone.  Not to mention thanks to the technology we develop and while thinking about our loved ones we are continually improving indoor navigation capabilities while integrating outdoor navigation structures over the years. Plus, our tech works where satellite GPS (the signals that power Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, etc.) doesn’t.

The ability to precisely locate your point of interest and take you there along the shortest navigation path is just the beginning. With positioning accuracy, you can serve precise location-based content (everything from streaming video to display ads to coupons), gather useful data about user behavior, and empower visitors to experience venues in completely new ways.

Indoor Navigation Challenges Series – Chapter 1: Finding an accurate location indoors

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In 2012, a senior Google executive issued an apology to Apple inc. expressing his regret in not warning Apple that mapping and navigation aren’t easy.

The sarcastic apology came in light of the widely regarded failed launch of Apple Maps, the outdoor navigation and mapping application which Apple released with the launch of iPhone 5 and the iOS6 operating system. Evidently, outdoor navigation is not easy.

Furthermore, I would like to say to this Google executive: if you think outdoor navigation is hard, try to map and navigate indoors. It’s an even more elusive challenge. In this series, we describe the challenges and how SPREO has solved them.

Chapter 1:  Finding extremely accurate location

In order to accurately navigate indoors you need positioning accuracy of about 2 meters or better. 2 meters or better allows you to take into account the small frame work of an indoor space. For example it allows you to differentiating between the entrances of two different stores, detect the floor the user is on, and find your car in the parking lot.

Existing outdoor navigation and mapping applications use the Global Positioning Systems (GPS). GPS is a great technology, available in all smartphone devices, and it is successful in navigating and finding locations worldwide. On its best day, GPS has an accuracy of about 5 meters, and sometimes as large as 15 meters, which is clearly over the 2 meters needed for indoor positioning. Accuracy aside, it turns out that GPS cannot even work indoors.

In response, developers have turned to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth sensors to find indoor location. With this comes a separate set of challenges, most obvious of which is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology were built to transfer data, not to show location. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to find that these sensors do not inherently provide accurate location. Manipulating Wi-FI and Bluetooth sensors to work for you in finding location is the first step in achieving accurate indoor location.

This is only the first challenge for those brave enough to take on indoor navigation.

Want to know the next challenge? Wait to read our next post.

– The SPREO development team

Applying Sensor Fusion in Indoor Positioning Prediction Algorithms

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Most modern cellular phones and tablets come with numerous sensors. You probably already know about WiFi and Bluetooth and use them everyday, but there are others as well.

For example, current smart devices come with built-in accelerometer, barometer, magnetic sensor and directional sensor. While these devices help fitness apps and the compass do their jobs, the patent-pending SPREO indoor positioning algorithm incorporates these signals for accurate and dynamic indoor position definition. We call it sensor fusion, and we use these additional sensors in addition to Bluetooth Low Energy beacons (“iBeacons”) and Wi-Fi to get accuracy to better than a meter.

The sensor fusion approach does create a unique set of challenges. For example, there is a chance for “accumulated error.” Most people vary their gait (“average step size”) and meander slightly instead of walking a true straight path, especially when talking through crowded hallways and stairs.

We have created a set of discernment rules to interpret the sensors input values and determine whether a step was actually taken in a certain direction or it was just “noise” (irrelevant data inputs). Consider for example how sensor data points would fluctuate if a person was talking with their hands while holding their phone. Another practical example is more subtle and technical: many environments have electrical magnetic resonance which can generate environmental ‘noise’ (data fluctuations).

The correct approach is ultimately a sophisticated algorithm that strategically integrates all available and applicable sensors on smart devices. The key to sensor fusion is to correct and minimize errors in order to achieve accurate position prediction.

We’ve taken indoor location with sensor fusion a step further by developing machine learning algorithms that analyze user behavior and environmental conditions. As a result, our proprietary methodology today provides positioning accuracy under a meter.

Click here to learn more about SPREO Indoor Location Solutions Let's Get Started