In many venues and organizations helping people safely navigate the facility is very important to the business. Airports, train stations and bus terminals, with their complicated layouts, arrival and departure boards are often filled with large numbers of people who may be unfamiliar with the facility and need help getting to their destination. In the past facility navigation was often handled by static signs, paper posters, and people hired to give directions. This approach was costly in enviroments where information is constantly changing and updating.
The Omnivex solution provides organizations with a platform for deploying interactive wayfinding across their business and facilities. Venues such as airports, sports arenas, hotels, medical facilities and universities are utilizing interactive wayfinding as a way to direct visitors. Interactive wayfinding kiosks provide users with the ability to help themselves creative savings in a number of areas. These kiosks also provides organizations with an opportunity to include information on popular destinations, restaurants, shops and hotels, as well as timely information on local events and possibly the opportunity to buy attraction tickets. For example, a hungry traveler could not only use a digital wayfinding system to locate his gate, but also see what food offerings were in that area. And because a digital signage network can be updated quickly, signs could change to direct travelers to their flights by the name of their destination, not just point to their intended gate. Automatic RSS feeds can keep the boards updated with features such as weather reports or breaking news.
In a hotel, digital signage can act as a virtual concierge, offering data such as a hotel map, meeting schedules and banquet information. Strategically placed touchscreens can allow users to search for information, such as room availability, dining menus, banquet information updates, daily weather forecasts and details about tourist attractions. Since the staff is freed from answering commonly asked questions, they are able to focus on providing better customer service.
In a shopping mall, digital signage can be updated as one store leaves and another takes its place. Touchscreen kiosks can help answer shoppers' questions. The video capability of digital signage allows operators to place advertising on the screens, offering additional revenue opportunities for retailers and facilities managers.
And for universities, digital wayfinding signage can serve double duty as an emergency messaging system. Universities often have a large population over a vast area; in the event of an emergency such as a severe thunderstorms or tornado alerts, getting current information out as quickly as possible is imperative and could save lives.
When using a solution like Omnivex Moxie for interactive wayfinding you have the ability to handle key requirements such as:
Multifloor/Multiregion - Some locations may reside across multiple floors or multiple regions, such as another building across the street or across a campus. Transfer points, such as stairs, elevators and escalators (or trams, bridges and tunnels), need to be identified but may not be applicable to all viewers.
Conditional formatting - Some elevators may not operate at certain times of the day or escalators may change direction depending on the traffic direction (a common issue in stadiums). Certain routes that are applicable during the day with natural lighting may not be advisable at night when there are fewer people around and dark paths. The system should be able to decide the appropriate route based on current conditions.
Customizing for the viewer - For the physically impaired, wayfinding can be a challenge since certain routes may not be accessible or the height of touchpoints on a screen must dynamically adjust to suit the reach of the viewer. On a large campus map, it may be necessary to have both macro and micro views depending on the distance to the destination.
Auxiliary information - There often is information related to a wayfinding inquiry that will assist the viewer. It could be a store description, details such as hours of operation or advertising about current promotions taking place there. Turn-by-turn directions may be provided by printing a map, or texting directions to a mobile device in the form of an SMS message.
Updates - Things change over time and one of the big advantages of digital displays is the speed at which updates can occur and the ease of distributing updates. The challenge arises for short-term changes such as an escalator being closed for maintenance. Many wayfinding solutions require coding to make changes which are expensive and often laborious, and are not reflected on the screens in real time.
Emergency procedures - Emergency evacuation procedures should be built into a wayfinding Interactive wayfinding (cont.) solution indicating the closest exit and automated triggers. In addition, the system should be able to direct traffic away from trouble, not towards it, so if a fire alarm is triggered near an exit, traffic should be directed to an alternate exit automatically.
For more information read our whitepaper on Interactive Wayfinding.