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GPS Archives - SPREO

How Does Indoor Location Tracking Work?

By | Corporate Solutions, Digital Wayfinding, Indoor Positioning Technology

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:

How Does Indoor Location Tracking Work

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.

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.

 

2. 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.

indoor location tracking using beacon and cell phone3. 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.

For 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 Positioning SDK

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.

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

By | Corporate Solutions, Digital Wayfinding, Geofencing, Indoor Positioning Technology, News

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.