Guest Post: Chris Wiegand, Jibestream
The ‘Internet of Things’ is a popular term bouncing around the technology sector at the moment. In fact this section of the market is earmarked for extraordinary growth; predictions are putting it at the largest device market in the world by 2019.
In its simplest form, the Internet of things (IoTs) is the complete connection of all one’s personal items and devices to the Internet.
It’s believed that in the coming years, this connection to the Internet will extend through to a whole host of new items: the fridge, the security system, the watch you wear, the luggage tag, and even the family pet.
An Internet connection can be expected with each respective device and with each device the ability to autonomously send and receive data.
The extent of what ‘IoT’ fully represents for creating new customer experiences can best be illustrated through the advances it brings to wayfinding.
Creating A Personalized Customer Experience
An intelligent technology platform, Experiential Wayfinding offers each individual user a personalized and unique experience based on their wants and needs at any given time.
Not limited to a single technology, an open wayfinding platform can be plugged into a diversified family of technologies ranging from the obvious location-based services to the more complicated predictive analytic software, all of which combine together to provide the key functionality of Experiential Wayfinding.
Whether it’s avoiding rush hour traffic en-route to a conference, locating a free parking spot at the shopping mall or finding a free hospital room, ‘IoT’ brings limitless potential for delivering unique and relevant information to the user.
Take for instance a person entering a shopping mall, a contextual message, triggered by beacons and based on recent search data, is delivered to their mobile device – a promotional offer for handbags the person had been searching for online.
This attests to the extraordinary power of this rapidly evolving technology. A technology which grows stronger as each user’s history is analyzed and more predictive results are generated.
Connecting the IoT and Wayfinding
Wayfinding software, with an open architecture, provides the perfect platform for collecting and analyzing data from interconnected ‘IoT’ devices. This ecosystem of technologies is made up of four distinct components:
The Device – This refers to the smart objects which interact with the wayfinding software, be it a cellular device, a tablet, a sensor, a kiosk – essentially any connected object.
The Local Network – These are the networks which pick up the signal from the device and translate the signal or data into something compatible with Internet protocols. In the context of wayfinding the local network generally consists of BLE beacons and Wi-Fi networks.
The Internet – This is the backbone the IoTs, as, even if a device is connected to a local network, data still needs to be sent through the Internet. It’s through an Internet connection that 3rd party integration and large volume data processing becomes a reality.
Backend Service – This is the finished product in the IoTs chain of events and can essentially be simplified down to how the transformed and now useful data is displayed on the device itself. In the hospital sector, a back-end service could, for example, be represented as a mobile phone alerting a patient that her medicine is ready or, in an everyday context, a user receiving a notification when a parking spot is free.
The IoTs is crucial to the functioning of experiential wayfinding, particularly with regards to the technology’s ability to provide a unique, enriched experience of place to its users.
Exciting times are ahead, as the market for interconnected devices explodes in the near future, which will almost certainly lead to a windfall of new technological products, all utilizing an Internet connection towards greater efficiency.