Partnership turns virtual into reality

By Dan Lato16 Dec 2014

Analytics previously exclusive to cyberspace are now available in the physical world thanks to an international partnership between technology powerhouses Esri Australia, MapData Services and GISi Indoors.

In the same way web-based analytics shine a light on online behaviour, the best-of-breed offering from the trio will now enable Australian bricks and mortar organisations to monitor how visitors are navigating through their physical spaces.

The technology is already generating significant interest in the retail, banking, entertainment, transport, education and mining sectors.

MapData Services General Manager Cassandra Barker said the solution’s wide range of applications – including the ability to see interactions in real-time – was one of its key strengths.

“The technology provides users with real-time visitor analytics, indoor navigation capabilities and visual maps to analyse customer movements while in progress,” Ms Barker said.

“For the first time, decision-makers will be able to see – in a scientific and verifiable way – how visitors are navigating through their spaces.

“The platform is a powerful combination of spatial and statistical engines, yet is designed to be flexible and work seamlessly with existing and emerging technologies.

“The applications are endless.

“Hospitals, stadiums, universities, galleries and transport hubs are all spaces in which the way visitors interact with the environment is vital to getting the best out of the facility itself.”

The technology works via strategically placed sensors that collect anonymous location-based data from visitors’ Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

While no personal or identifiable information is collected, the aggregated data reveals valuable patterns and trends of how people behave in the monitored area.

Esri Australia Manager of Industry Solutions Gary Johnson said the technology will change the way spaces are designed and how visitors interact with them.

“This technology can be applied wherever people frequent a shared space,” Mr Johnson said.

“It provides invaluable information such as total, unique and return visits, dwell times and draw rates – the types of analytics we have come to take for granted on the net.

“The technology will enable organisations to gauge how their physical space is used by visitors, such as how the position of walkways, signage and services impact the paths people choose.

“Decisions about how to tweak, adapt and optimise the space can be made and the effects of these changes monitored and analysed again.”

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