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To learn how precise positioning in a store or resort – anywhere with WiFi – leads to fascinating new mobile business apps development and interactive user experience benefits, we're joined by Alvaro Garcia-Hoz, Founder and General Manager of Mobile Experience in Madrid. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Here are some excerpts:
Gardner: Tell us about Mobile Experience and how you have been able to work with a Wi-Fi provider like HPE Aruba to provide this really unique and interesting location experience within a large building or campus.
Garcia Hoz: We started working for museums and we saw that there were a lot of mobile applications for museums -- but none of them were really helping the visitors during their visits. So, we decided to make an application for museumgoers, so visitors would have a much better experience.
The first one had a Wi-Fi location system, and two years ago, when we started working with them, we implemented their Wi-Fi indoor-location system in the museum and it was working, but it was not working the way we were expecting. The user experience was not good enough. But then, we found HPE Aruba Beacons. They sent us a packet of beacons, and we deployed them in the museum.
We quickly discovered that the system was working really, really well, with very good accuracy. We made the deployment in less than a couple of days across the whole museum -- that is about 150 beacons. It really works, and the user experience changed totally.
Then, we called HPE Aruba and we said, “Okay guys, come to the museum to see how this is working because you're going to really be amazed.” And when they came to the museum they said, “Wow.”
After the 18 months that we had been working together, we decided to make a presentation for the media and other partners. From that moment on, we began receiving requests for proposals for other industries like retail, hospitality, and healthcare. There are hundreds of applications.
Gardner: How were the museums able to enhance the experience of their visitors through the technology?
Garcia-Hoz: For me there are three very basic points. The first one is that they can prepare guided tours for those visitors, depending on their specific needs. Normally, when people visit a museum, after a couple of hours, they're done and they leave the museum without knowing if they've viewed all of the exhibits. They don’t know if they missed any pieces of art or pieces of information that are important and relevant to them.
What we give the museum is the ability to prepare those guided tours depending on the amount of time a visitor wants to spend at the museum. So if you go, for instance, to the British Museum, given that we are in London, and you decide to spend two hours, the application will show you the works that the museum thinks that you cannot miss if you want to be there for two hours.
The application will guide you through the museum like an indoor GPS, while you're walking within the museum, and they will guide you through the 20 works you have to see in that museum, and then give you all the information for those exhibits.
The second point is that it's different information for different types of visitors. For example, since we come from Madrid, when you are visiting the Real Madrid Museum, it’s different if you are 60 years old or if you are 20 years old, because the information you want to see is very different. With this application, we give the museum the opportunity to deliver highly personalized information.
Gardner: Personalization is so important now that everyone is carrying a smartphone. It really changes how you can have an experience within a shopping mall, for example. Or, if you want to start providing commerce based on demographic information, you could have something on sale for one person but maybe not for another, because it wouldn't be appropriate for them. In healthcare, if you're in a hospital, a large campus, it’s very easy to get lost. There are lots of different ways that this can be used.
What are the next steps? Where do you, Aruba, and HPE go in order to create a developer following for more applications and more ability to take advantage of this very precise location capability within almost any building?
Garcia-Hoz: Aruba and HPE are helping us a lot and they're spreading the word. This technology is so new, and we're visiting very important customers. But when we start talking to them, and we are talking about Aruba Beacons, and how they can get all this information from users, we're exploring what can be done and what can’t be done.
Gardner: Where can you go to get more information on this technology?
Garcia-Hoz: You can go to my website, mobileXperience.es. There, we have a lot of information about different features that can be delivered for mobile users.
Gardner: And how about developers? Are they able to use the Aruba SDK or APIs? How would the developers start to take advantage of this as a service?
Garcia-Hoz: There are two different ways of doing this. They can go directly to the Aruba SDK to have that for them and build on that, and also they can come to us -- if you already have your venue up you can use your API so you can get all these features together.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
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