Or Maybe Just an Idea Whose Time Has Come
Every now and then in technology-driven markets, we witness a magical confluence of factors - enabling technologies, user mindset, a cost curve driven by Moore's Law - that produce an "Inflection Point". Adoption suddenly accelerates and what yesterday seemed futuristic now seems obvious, and it seems like all at once everyone wants to embrace it. In plain English, this is also called an idea whose time has come.
Whatever you want to call it, we are seeing signs all over that Indoor Navigation has reached its inflection point. We'll start out the year by making an easy prediction therefore: 2015 will be the year of Indoor Navigation!
Yes, of course we are biased! On the other hand, we are by no means the only company pioneering this market. And more importantly, after several years of preaching, we are seeing voices pop up all over talking about the value of these technologies to businesses and users.
One example of this came up in this posting in HISTalk the other day.
"I have to disclose a brilliant idea I heard in listening to the rehearsal of the Versus webinar I mention below, which I honestly think is the most interesting webinar I’ve ever watched. John Olmstead of Community Munster captivated me all the way through on the hospital’s use of ED technology, but he really grabbed me at the end when he suggested technology tools he needs. His holy grail is a way-finding, GPS-type app that patients and visitors can use on their own devices to locate themselves precisely on a hospital floor plan, then receive directions to get them to a desired location. Example: I’m in room 4401 with my mom and I want to go to the cafeteria, then to the financial counselor, then to the gift shop, and then back to 4401, so give me turn-by-turn directions like I get with my car GPS. His take is interesting: patients will become so attached to hospitals that offer this app that they won’t consider going elsewhere, where they’ll go back to stumbling around lost or trying to follow decades-old red vs. green lines on the floor that lead to confusing elevators. Hospitals are always a poorly conceived patchwork of added-on construction that went up quickly as funding allowed, so visitors spend a lot of time wandering and wasting the time of employees who have to assist them. Turning that universally embarrassing situation into a competitive advantage is brilliant"
We of course reached out to HISTalk to let them know that such a solution exists today!
I mentioned last week that John Olmstead, who runs the ED and surgery departments of The Community Hospital (IN), says in an upcoming Versus webinar that he would like to see a GPS-wayfinding type technology so that hospital visitors could navigate around campus using their smartphones. Readers sent information on two companies that offer such technology:
Connexient offers a smartphone app that provides turn-by-turn navigation to visitors at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and will bring six more hospitals live on it in the next few months.
So Indoor Navigation is the First Enterprise Killer App for Indoor Positioning
So it does seem that the obvious but new is rapidly becoming accepted.
- Billions of smartphone users throughout the world have come to expect – and rely upon - intuitive, reliable and accurate maps, directions and turn-by-turn navigation to get to any location they want to go.
- Those same users will over the next few years come to expect - and then demand the same experience and services when they enter any large building or facility in the world - whether that be a hospital or otherwise.
We say "Enterprise Killer App" because the we've already seen the first killer app - in Retail. In this, however, proximity is the driver rather than location per se. ; That's a blog for another day!
But Indoor Navigation is just the Tip of the Iceberg
Make no mistake: we believe that Indoor Navigation - when it is accurate and reliable - is a game changer when it comes to patient and visitor experience. But Indoor Navigation is just the starting point for enormous additional opportunities to provide Indoor Location-based Services across the Enterprise, with use cases that bring compelling value to users and direct ROI in capturing lost revenue, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
The beauty is that when you implement Indoor Navigation quality mapping and positioning, you are actually laying the foundation for all the rest. We've blogged about this elsewhere, and we'll continue to do so!