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improving navigation with interactive wayfinding
Have you ever gotten lost in a large and unfamiliar building like an airport – taken a wrong turn
only to walk in circles?
It happens all the time. Thankfully, today's digital signage and interactive wayfinding systems in
airports, hospitals and other large, complex buildings can help visitors navigate with ease, speed
To demonstrate this, let's look at interactive wayfinding systems in two everyday scenarios:
"Okay, we're leaving from Gate 27 and apparently we get free coffee"
Your flight leaves in two hours. Upon arriving at the airport, you find the most accessible route to
your gate on an interactive kiosk, based on real time data that reflects gate changes and pathway
closures. Whoops, your flight is now leaving from gate A27 instead of A33. Good to know.
As you travel to gate A27 you receive a coupon for coffee from an airport vendor located right
outside your gate. These personalized offers can be delivered directly to your mobile device via
on screen messaging, SMS, social media, or other plug-ins that integrate with the digital
wayfinding system at the airport. Upon arriving at gate A27, the system recognizes your
destination city and delivers a coupon for a hotel to your mobile device.
"Good afternoon Mrs. Johnson, Dr. Green will be with you shortly"
You visit a large hospital for an appointment. As you enter, you are instructed to interact with a
virtual concierge, a digital screen located in the main area. The screen prompts you to swipe your
health card on a reader beside the kiosk. Immediately a message confirms your identity and
displays a map indicating the exact location and detailed directions to your appointment.
Simultaneously, the system notifies the receptionist that you have arrived. But wait, you have a
question. The virtual concierge is also a videoconferencing unit and, on your request, connects
you to the receptionist through the screen. Ah, yes, Dr. Green's office has moved up two floors.
These scenarios illustrate the benefits of interactive wayfinding systems. Passengers and patients
like you and I have a positive and efficient experience by receiving personalized, real-time
information that is both relevant and engaging. Businesses are able to deliver hyper-localized
content to an already-interested audience and building owners can provide a unique user
But there is more to wayfinding technology. Let's talk business value.
Let's look at the airport scenario first. The airport is able to reduce costs with improved operational
efficiencies. Interactive kiosks compile usage reports, including number of users and kiosk activity
levels and trends, which help public venues analyze traffic, optimize resources and staffing to
better service visitors and improve operations. The systems help foster stronger relationships
between venues and onsite vendors by creating promotional opportunities, such as the coffee
In the hospital scenario, the use of interactive technologies and displays connect disparate
sources of hardware and software applications, including the hospital scheduling system, to help
reduce wait times and provide a seamless and efficient experience for the patient, the hospital
and staff. Simply put, it helps the business of the hospital run more smoothly.
Today, intelligent networks bring together disparate technologies, where data can flow seamlessly
from one system to another, creating a unified experience for us, the user. These systems
present a seamless experience, letting visitors navigate even the most complex facilities, like
airports and hospitals, efficiently.
But digital wayfinding technologies go beyond just presenting information. Integrating different
sources of data, such as flight schedules with directional instructions, or passenger loyalty data
with marketing communications, these systems create dynamic solutions that not only create a
dynamic user experience, but also serve a venue's ecosystem in the most efficient way possible,
and create value for stakeholders.
Wayfinding technologies, as part of an intelligent network infrastructure provided by Cisco, allow
us to navigate our increasingly complex world with ease while making good business sense. If
you want to learn more about interactive wayfinding technology, visit our website.