“Powered by the Earth” wayfinding uses smartphones and a building’s magnetic footprint to help people navigate indoor spaces. Using less hardware and offering more scalability, geomagnetic technology provides distinct benefits to organizations looking to optimize how people move through their space and provide richer onsite experiences.
Our partner, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, helped us launch the first geomagnetic-based indoor positioning app at their 1.5M square-foot facility last week. The SMHWayfinder is the first wayfinding app to accurately pinpoint a person’s position indoors using a building’s magnetic footprint and sensors inside smartphones. The newest addition to our wayfinding platform helps patients, visitors and staff find their way around the hospital using their smartphones.
Our team began development on our mobile app eighteen months ago with a goal to provide a solution that was scalable, easier to maintain and could deliver a high degree of accuracy. Our GPS-like app, developed in partnership with IndoorAtlas, is a departure from traditional indoor wayfinding systems that are cost prohibitive because of hardware requirements. Solutions that are currently available in the marketplace use Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth beacons installed throughout long hallways, common spaces, and entry and exit points within a building. The signals emitted from those units are received by your smartphone, sense your position and provide you directions. The typical Wi-Fi and Beacon-based wayfinding system can include a significant number of beacons to achieve the accuracy required for indoor navigation.
Geomagnetic indoor positioning technology relies on the Earth’s magnetic fields and the unique signals created when they interact with the metal structures in a building. Most smartphones have sensors to interpret those signals and accurately place your position on an indoor map, using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth only when required to improve accuracy.
While intuitive signs and friendly staff and/or volunteers are the fundamental components of successful wayfinding programs, technology-based solutions that maximize your reach should not be overlooked. Seventy-seven percent of Americans have smartphones1 and use their devices to search for information and act upon the information they receive. This compelling statistic is just one of the many reasons why your hospital needs mobile wayfinding technology. Sarasota’s SMHWayfinder was downloaded by 550 patients and visitors within the first week of the launch.
In addition to providing GPS-like turn-by-turn directions with indoor positioning accuracy of three to five feet, our mobile app has an intuitive menu with written directions and other user-friendly features, including:
• Blue dot guidance that shows your exact location on an animated path and plots the best route to your destination on an interactive map.
• Landmark references on each floor.
• Automatic re-routing if you go off track, or if an area or elevator is closed for maintenance.
• Location-based notifications with information about your surroundings, such as cafeteria hours.
• Tutorials, event calendars, favorite locations and other helpful information.
Stay tuned to our blog for a series of educational and informative posts about indoor wayfinding and geomagnetic positioning technology.
Related Media Coverage:
Download SMH Wayfinder app for Apple Users
Download SMH Wayfinder app for Android Users