#PlaceConf: Getting to Scale – Crowdsourcing Indoor Location
June 15, 2018 | Contributed by: Anna Majek
Indoor location has been widely covered across all of the hottest tech media over the years and given a great amount of interest by industrialists and entrepreneurs alike. It’s the GPS but with millions of square meters added to the database consisting of buildings, basements and areas with weak satellite exposure. With its promise of improved life quality and major knock-on effects on the economy through increased business opportunities— why does it take so long for the concept to catch on in the everyday life of consumers? Why is it being embraced slower than expected? And what’s at stake for retailers and brands?
The thought-provoking backdrop of this modern technology opens up many questions about deployment and scalability but Rob Palfreyman, CEO of sensewhere says there is a lot to be gained from “indoor GPS”, including better security for families, sharper payment protection, faster emergency services and smarter consumerism.
This afternoon at Place Conference London, Rob dove into the complexities of location as a tool for marketers and the challenges of its adoption worldwide. To illustrate a successful implementation of indoor positioning services at scale, Rob presented a case study of one American and three Chinese corporate giants running sensewhere on their platforms. Tencent, Ping An Bank and BestPay’s business offerings benefit from indoor positioning as it opens up the opportunity to allow their users access to: location information, fraud detection, personalised services and even strengthened communities, all enhancing the desirability of their services.
From a commercial point of view, indoor positioning data serves as a gateway for companies to better communicate with their target markets and subsequently facilitate better trade as well as a more defined brand identity. A clever deployment of indoor location software, such as through crowdsourcing, opens doors to targeting, location based advertising through visit confirmations, attribution and mobile payment verification — all immense financial sources and major service leaps all around the world.
China is known as the world’s fastest-growing consumer market, and it certainly takes lead in embracing innovative solutions early in the game. Rob reiterated that Asian markets, due to their sheer size and reach are well positioned to exemplify how well new technologies perform at scale. Similarly, there is a lot of progress in the West where sensewhere tech is being trialed for the large network of retail centres.
The stimulating set of case studies and insights delivered by Rob prompted a valuable discussion with the audience and stirred interest in just what can be achieved. Are we at the edge of the big location revolution yet? Rob thinks a lot of the prep work is being done away from the public eye, with some well-known companies also working on their own versions of the solution but not quite release ready yet.