Are you deploying an indoor positioning system and location-based services in your building? That’s a smart move as it will enable great visitor experiences and insightful analytics. For your project to be successful, make sure you ask the right questions to your vendor. Many projects fail as vendors do not deliver on their promises to enable accurate and scalable indoor positioning solutions.
Here are 3 questions you should ask yourself before choosing an indoor location technology:
1. Have you verified the accuracy of the technology in open areas and when changing floors?
When you’re testing the technology, make sure you pick an area that represents your actual deployment. Many vendors will showcase their positioning technology in a narrow corridor and in a straight line, where it’s likely to work well. Areas with high ceilings, mezzanines, multiple floors and with indoor-outdoor transitions are where accurate indoor positioning is difficult to achieve.
Here are examples of indoor positioning deployments from vendors that are inaccurate, jumpy and provide overall a bad user experience. Even Apple can fail!
2. Does the technology require a heavy setup such as on-site surveying and even filming the venue? How frequently does it have to be maintained?
Think about it: if it took a week to set up the technology in your testing environment, it means it may take years to deploy in all your buildings. Ensure you avoid positioning technologies that require on-site surveying as they are not easy to scale. With fingerprinting for instance, the setup requires walking step by step to configure, and in case of a mistake in the calibration, the whole process needs to be started again. Be aware of the time and effort that it will take to deploy in your entire venue.
Maintenance is also time-consuming. What happens if you change the layout of your venue or move an access point to a different location? With fingerprinting and geomagnetic, when you move a metal cabinet to the left, close an entrance or move an access point you will need to recalibrate the technology accordingly. Have you factored in the cost and effort required? If not, you should avoid indoor positioning technologies that have to be frequently recalibrated every time the layout of your venue changes slightly.
3. Is your technology enterprise-ready?
The technology you select should be enterprise-ready, which means it should be secure, tested for penetration and easy to integrate into your existing systems (API availability is very important). Here are some of the key criteria you might want to keep in mind when selecting an indoor positioning vendor:
- Real-time analytics
- API integration with iOS, Android
- Great map experience
- Indoor-outdoor transitions
At Pointr, our indoor positioning technology is so accurate and scalable that you can even enable AR navigation instantly in all your venues:
3 steps to a successful indoor positioning deployment
Now that you know the right questions to ask, how can you ensure that your deployment is successful? We recommend to follow 3 steps when implementing a Proof of Concept to test indoor positioning in your building:
Step 1: Ask your vendor for an onsite pilot on both iOS and Android.
Step 2: Keep the pilot running for at least 30 days.
Step 3: Make sure you pick an area that represents your actual deployment. Avoid testing in small corridors where it’s easy to fake accuracy. Instead ask to test the technology in an open area, with multi-floor transitions and high ceilings.
The checklist for a successful indoor location deployment
We have prepared a checklist of what you need to keep in mind when testing an indoor positioning technology: Download PDF.
Many upset customers switch to Pointr
At Pointr, we’ve been around since 2014 and we’ve seen dozens of indoor location companies trying to crack indoor location and fail. Ultimately, many companies end up switching to us after a disappointing experience with a software vendor. In fact, even tech giants partner with Pointr to solve indoor positioning. We partner with Honeywell, Panasonic, Current by GE and Extreme Networks among others.
Our team is composed of machine-learning and sensor experts who have learned from very difficult projects over the past 6 years — high ceilings, listed old properties, world’s largest venues, we have seen it all. We are also hardware agnostic which means we always recommend what’s best for our customers.