I think you’ll agree, we have a directional problem
Remember your first day of classes at university? You arrive on campus with your bag brimming with materials, excited for a fresh start. Your first class of the day is in the business building, room A311. When you enter the front door, you have no idea which way to turn. Students and administrators are rushing about you on their own way to their own destinations. You hesitantly turn down one hallway and find yourself in front of room D110. Does the D denote a wing of the building? Are you looking for a room on the first floor since you’re in an A or the third floor since it’s room 311? What does it all mean? Where are you supposed to go? The panic starts to rise as the clock ticks.
Or how about this scenario: You arrive at an unfamiliar office for a meeting with an important client, sign in at the front desk, and are given directions to meet your host in the conference room “down the hall and to the left.” You make your way over only to be confronted with a dizzying array of doors. You pick one and hope for the best, but there’s already a meeting going on in there and it isn’t yours. Palm to face.
Then there’s the large industry convention you’re attending with your company. There’s a presentation you want to see at booth 789 but when you enter the expo center, you find yourself in a sea of booths, none of which have clearly marked numbers. Finding your way to your ultimate destination is a little bit like finding a needle in a haystack. By the time you do eventually find the booth, you have a few minutes to spare before the presentation, and you’d like to use the restroom. Anyone know where that is? Bueller?
Or even worse: You get a call from your wife. She’s in labor and will meet you at the hospital. When you arrive, you learn that she’s been admitted and is currently waiting for you on the 8th floor, room 860. You dash out of the elevator onto the labor and delivery floor and find yourself in front of room 801. You sprint down the hallway and the rooms rush past. 813, 825, 859, 861. Wait a minute; where is room 860? In your panic, you must have missed it so you turn around and retrace your steps, a cold sweat dripping down your back. 863, 861, 859. For the love of all that is holy where is room 860?!
There is a better way
We know you’ve experienced scenarios just like these throughout much of your adult life. That’s because I have too. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If these university campuses, large office buildings, convention centers, and hospitals utilized indoor wayfinding technology, users would be able to pull up a clear and user-friendly map of the area right on their smartphones and navigate with ease.
With the same type of directions and interface users are already highly familiar with thanks to existing driving and walking directional technologies that have been a part of everyday life on the outside for years now, indoor wayfinding is finally taking off thanks to advances in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Recent advancements allow for precise location of rooms, points of interest, and even people –down to the accuracy of a few feet.
How does indoor wayfinding work?
Let’s use AskCody’s WayFinder as an example. WayFinder displays a detailed map and directions for any dynamic indoor environment right on users’ smartphones or stationary kiosks. This way, employees and guests have access to any type of information they need to navigate to wherever it is they’re going; whether that’s a specific conference room in an unfamiliar building; a point of interest such as a restroom, food court, or coffee stand; or the nearest emergency exit. Directions are updated in real time with a single click for those who need handicapped access or in case of construction detours.
This type of advanced indoor wayfinding not only creates a more enjoyable, less stressful environment for your guests, but it fosters a more inclusive space for anyone who enters your doors. It also promotes safety and security, ensuring everyone has access to the information needed to exit as quickly as possible, right at their fingertips.
A fully integrated Indoor Wayfinding technology will blend seamlessly with existing office technologies such as Outlook, Google Calendar, and Office 365. And as part of the full AskCody Meeting Management Platform, WayFinder can even tell you on the spot if a room is occupied or has an upcoming booking, which helps everyone avoid a potentially embarrassing and productivity-slashing interruption to a current meeting.
This is a better use of resources and better use of your front desk staff’s time. Not to mention, it provides a seamless, effortless experience for your guests that is significantly more pleasant than the alternative.
Design a better future with indoor wayfinding
Now let’s step back in time and re-visit those earlier scenarios but insert indoor wayfinding technology into the equation.
It’s your very first day of Uni. You head out to your first class in room A311 in the business building. When you enter the front door, you’re not sure which way to turn. So you pull out your phone, open your schedule, and click on the classroom number. A map pops up that displays where you are and where the classroom is. Beneath it are step-by-step directions. You’re in your seat with your notebook open within minutes.
Now you arrive at an unfamiliar office for an important meeting. The front desk staff enters your name into the system and a nametag is instantly printed. Meanwhile, your meeting host has been automatically alerted of your arrival via email and smartphone notification, so even if she is away from her desk, you can rest assured she knows you’re in the building. She sends you a message directly that she’ll meet you in room Biggie Smalls with a link that pulls up a map to guide you there. While in the meeting, every meeting attendee receives an alert on their phone that there will be a routine fire drill in one hour. The alert includes a map and directions to the nearest emergency exit so you know exactly where you’ll be going.
Remember that huge industry convention? You’re on your way to a presentation at booth 789 among a seemingly endless sea of booths. So you click on the booth number from your event app right on your phone to pull up a map to get you there. But you also want to hit the restroom and pick up a coffee on your way. In just a few clicks you add both of those points of interest and the indoor wayfinding technology reroutes you to both destinations in the most direct way possible with the booth set as your final destination.
And let’s not forget your poor wife in labor waiting for you at the hospital. When you arrive, the information desk tells you she’s already set up in room 860. Lucky for you, the hospital offers modern indoor wayfinding. All you have to do is open the hospital’s app on your phone and you have a map and detailed directions that deliver you to your wife’s side as fast as the elevator can take you there. And boy, is she happy to see you.
Learn more about how indoor wayfinding can bring relief to your meeting management strategy. If any of the above scenarios sound appealing to you, let’s talk more about indoor wayfinding. Ask for a demo. Or just chat with us.