The Purple Indoor Location Services Maturity Model

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Find out how easy it is for visitors to navigate your space

Large and complex venues present unique challenges for the people inside them. Not only are airports, hospitals, and university campuses notoriously difficult to navigate, but the presence of walls and ceilings impedes wireless connectivity, rendering 4G, 5G, and GPS useless (for more on this see my previous blog post).

Fortunately, a wide range of solutions exists to enhance the experience of visitors and staff and add value for the venue, ranging from low-tech to the latest breakthroughs in indoor technology.

Use the Purple ‘Indoor Location Services (ILS) Maturity Model’ to find the most impactful solutions available and understand how well your venue meets visitor and staff expectations.

Collect points for each solution currently in place in your venue!

Implement indoor positioning (blue-dot navigation) = 3 points

Indoor positioning leverages strategically positioned hardware in combination with technology in smartphones to determine a user’s position in the venue.

This means any user can quickly understand where they are in a venue at any given time.

Using this live position, it’s possible to enable turn-by-turn navigation from your current location to any other position on the map, which is the best-in-class solution for indoor navigation.

Install interactive digital map = 2 points

An interactive map describes a digital map which users can interact with, meaning they can tap or click elements to receive further content and information.

In an airport, a traveler may use a physical map to find the location of a coffee shop and walk there. However, this map would not be able to tell them if the coffee shop was temporarily closed, or if it’s sold out of pumpkin-spiced lattes.

Interactive maps can display static content such as text or images, or pull in live data from other sources, for example, live parking information or stock levels in a storage cupboard.

Additional value can be unlocked when pairing with QR codes, for example placing ‘You are here’ posters around the physical venue with QR codes that, when scanned, open the exact location on the digital map.

Personalize your maps to user need = 3 points

In most large, complex venues there are distinct ‘groups’ of users that interact in different ways and have very different requirements, for example, ‘staff’ and ‘visitors’. 

In healthcare, approx 90% of a typical hospital’s floor space is off-limits to patients, meaning that a single map focused on the needs of the patient excludes a large portion of the total population.

By introducing an optional login page it’s possible to deliver a personalized map experience where a logged-in user can view areas of the map and map content that’s relevant only to them.

Doing this ensures that 100% of the total venue users can navigate and get value from the map.

Provide an accessible WiFi network = 1 point

A reliable WiFi network is a basic expectation that many venues continue to fall short on, despite the relative maturity of the technology. If your visitors and staff are unable to access the internet, they will be sure to tell you about it and spend as little time as possible in your venue

Ensure you invest in expert advice to ensure access point coverage is optimized as this will ensure signal reliability.

Signpost with a venue Map = 1 point

A good old-fashioned map is the first step in helping your visitors navigate your venue. Maps can be displayed on walls, websites, or distributed on leaflets.

One of the main challenges with a static map is keeping it updated, as large, complex venues are often expanding and changing. As the size and complexity of a venue increase, the importance of a usable and easy-to-edit map also increases.

Help guests navigate with physical Signage = 1 point 

Physical signage can be a highly effective tool for navigation. Ensure your signs are large enough, prominently displayed, and above all, kept up to date.

Painted lines on the floor of hospitals and airport gate signs are great examples of prominent signage. Use QR codes to connect your physical environment with digital content.

Get users online with a captive portal = 2 points 

A captive portal provides a mechanism that allows users to authenticate their device on a guest WiFi service, typically by redirecting the device to a splash page upon initial connection to a venue’s WiFi network.

The primary value of having a captive portal is that it pushes users to sign into the WiFi network, allowing the venue to collect valuable information about its visitors and venue insights. 

Collecting these insights through WiFi analytics aids business decisions and can also help to tailor personalized marketing and other communications.

Leveraging this data properly can drive tremendous value for the venue. 

Help users with indoor routing = 3 points

Indoor routing adds the ability for a user to view the optimal route between any two points on a map, allowing them to navigate indoors in much the same way that they navigate outside.

Indoor routing is a powerful way to limit the likelihood of someone getting lost and help users get to where they want to be.

Furthermore, by calculating the route distance, it’s possible to preempt how long the journey will take, reducing the likelihood of missed lectures, flights, or appointments.

Track assets and equipment within your facility = 3 points

Asset tracking describes the ability to track items (or people) in a venue. Using small, bluetooth based tags, it’s possible to calculate and display asset positions on a map, ensuring that critical equipment, medicines, or items are ready and available when you need them, and never go missing. 

In the UK, up to £300 million each year is attributed to medicine wastage alone. Medical staff can spend up to 60 minutes each shift simply looking for equipment, resulting in additional wasted labor costs.

How does your setup compare?

Find out whether your venue meets visitor and staff expectations by adding up your points from above.

0-2 points

Unfortunately, your venue will likely fall short of expectations. 

Lack of internet connectivity, or basic support navigating will leave your visitors and staff frustrated, upset, and unlikely to dwell in your venue for longer than absolutely necessary.  

2-7 points

Your venue offers a solid foundation for connectivity and navigation, although visitors and staff may struggle in larger, more complex spaces. 

7-10 points

You’re taking advantage of some of the more powerful innovations that will noticeably enhance your visitor and staff experience and exceed their expectations. 

11+ points

Your venue is in the top 1% of indoor spaces and provides a complete, personalized, digitally enabled experience to visitors and staff.

Looking to read more? Download our free guide to must-have digital wayfinding features for 2023.