Indoor Location at EventTech 2013

Sponsored by Event Marketer, EventTech is the premier conference and exposition focused on technology for events and trade shows.  EventTech 2013

The third annual conference, held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas from November 4th through 6th, 2013, brought together “the world’s top event marketers and technologists”.  At its booth, Accuware demonstrated indoor location technology.

The venue

Bellagio’s Tower Ballroom was laid out as shown in the floor plan, with a large theatre at the center and smaller ones at each corner; EventTech floor planthe Guru Bar to the left gathered those interested in technology discussions.  Two lounges set up as phone charging stations were popular destinations throughout the day.Accuware I.T.S Dashboard

Accuware was granted permission to place hardware sensors (nodes) throughout the space, to passively monitor attendees’ whereabouts, in a live demonstration of device tracking indoors.  This is what happened:

Attendee Tracking 

Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor detected all active Wi-Fi devices: about 1600 smart phones, tablets and laptops were displayed as dots on the system dashboard, on a large flat screen.  Neither direct connection to Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor nor installation of any mobile apps were needed.  Most notably, no personally identifiable information was collected from anyone.Accuware ITS dashboard detail

Conference attendees moved around the venue during the day, attending presentations at the various stages, visiting booths, getting coffee or congregating at the charging stations. Their numbers ebbed and flowed, as people concentrated in specific areas at given times, then moved on in search of the next event or activity.  The Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor dashboard showed the moving dots, capturing their movements in real time.

Detailed logs were available for download at the end of each day.  The time-stamped log entries include device identifier and geographic coordinates, providing a snapshot of each device’s whereabouts as input for further analysis.  For example: heat maps.

Monitoring attendees’ concentrations

A new Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor feature, Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor’s Heat Maps feature, was premiered at this show. Heat Map at EventTech Heat Maps aggregate individual device positions to create a visual representation of the changing density of attendees over time, at various locations throughout the venue.  Higher densities are represented in darker, reddish hues;  lower densities in light green; lowest in yellow fading into black.

It was easy to spot well attended presentations, as they shone in dark red.  And it was easy to see those dark areas fading into light greens and then black, as presentations ended and people moved on in search of other activities. Varying densities reflected movement and concentration of attendees in specific areas, like those sitting at the charging stations late in the afternoon.

As expected, all collected heat map data can be “played back” later to quickly visualize the changing concentrations of attendees that took place at different time periods throughout the day.

Positioning and Way-finding

On Wednesday, there was a private screening of Accuware Indoor Navigation, the latest technology in indoor positioning and navigation, designed to provide way-finding for mobile apps with sub-meter accuracy.

Accuware Indoors does not require hardware sensors for positioning. It relies instead on the ambient Wi-Fi signals available through a space to generate a library of “fingerprints” that can then be used by authorized devices to determine their location.

Augmented by data from a device’s sensors, such as accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope, Accuware Indoor Navigation provided smooth location tracking, as shown in this video:

Behind the scenes

Accuware is a provider of indoor location platforms that enable implementation of location-aware solutions for many applications in event marketing.  The products demonstrated at EventTech were:

Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor, a hardware-based real-time locating system (RTLS) designed to track the location of active Wi-Fi devices, including smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi Tags and custom Wi-Fi devices anywhere inside a building or throughout a campus, with accuracy down to the floor and room level.

Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor’s Heat Maps feature aggregates data from individual devices detected through a monitored space, and graphically represents their varying concentration over time.

Accuware Indoor Navigation  is a software-based system designed for mobile apps to obtain their current position using ambient radio signals.

Singly or in combination, these products are easy to deploy tools for implementation of many innovative applications in event marketing and other industries.

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