Category Archives: Indoor Technology and Innovation

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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.

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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

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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?

daytona3

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!

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 indoor 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 indoor navigation using beacons 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

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

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.

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