As one of the winners of KymiRing Event Marketing Hackathon 2017, this paper presents the outcome of NaviPal team in developing a proof of concept of indoor area occupancy system for KymiRing. KymiRing is a new Finland-based motor sports complex, which will be hosted the first annual MotoGP in 2019 with the race tracks, buildings, equipment, and safety standards will be up to international level.
How the project started…
KymiRing’s event with tens of thousands of visitors, imagine how frustrated customers are when spending time in a long queue before using the restroom. Hence, why don’t we develop a web app displaying real-time traffic information by which visitors can be assisted in finding out which restroom nearby has the shortest line?
The project started with this thought!
Putting the system application in a broader view, not only used for counting the number of people standing in the waiting line, an indoor area occupation is an extremely valuable information to a building complex, as it can be used to provide and support different services for businesses, occupant comfort and energy saving.
NaviPal employs low-cost sensors to collect the occupation statuses of rooms and areas, which then sends the collected information through Wi-Fi to a server for visualization, occupancy indication and analytics purposes.
Development of NaviPal system and implementation goals
NaviPal occupancy sensor tracks the amount of people in a given room, or area by using a pair of distance sensors, mounted at the entrance of the area. The two sensors are mounted in parallel horizontally with a small distance in between. Judging by the order which the sensors are activated, the NaviPal occupancy sensor can detect if a person is moving in, or out of the given area.
The information is recorded by the controller and sent to a data server for different uses. During the prototyping phase, the unit price of each sensor is expected to be under 100 EUR per sensor, and this price could possibly be reduced with volume production.
The data server is a software stack, which can be implemented in either the building automation system of the complex on-site, or separately on cloud services, depending on the customers need.
The stack consists of a database system for storing the occupancy information, a basic web visualization and a REST API for the customer or third-party developer to take advantage of and/or extend the functionality of NaviPal.
All the occupancy data belongs to the customers, and the area occupancy data is completely anonymous, as the system does not track individual people, but only measures people entering or leaving an area.
During this project, the main application for NaviPal is collection of room occupancy statistics, which could then be used for signaling if a certain room is available, allowing the occupant to check and plan their movement inside the complex efficiently.
Live information on crowd movement and density is provided to customers through a web app on customers’ mobile devices and on the concourse monitors through campaigns customized to the sport venue and visitor. Over time, the data collected from NaviPal system could be used for analytics purposes, for example analysis of area usage in different time-of-day for resource optimization.
In the future, the NaviPal sensor could be integrated with a Bluetooth beacon, to provide location-specific information to the occupants using technologies such as Eddystone or iBeacon. Also, as air quality is a concern nowadays for Finnish real-estate owners, the NaviPal sensor can also integrate different air quality sensor to track the energy efficiency and indicate air quality of the complex.
To sum up
With NaviPal, the sport venue operators find it easier to learn fan behavior, increase efficiencies and delight fan experiences at KymiRing.
At the end of the day, we believe that customer satisfaction plays a key role in the success of any business.
Keeping customers satisfied with KymiRing’s services is important to retain and develop their positive relationships with the place. By running this project, the team hopes for providing suggestions for better customer experiences at KymiRing.
As the customers are satisfied, they themselves will become an effective free marketing source, word-of-mouth, when they spread good words about KymiRing to their relatives and friends. And it is the path to a win-win situation!
Considering the project from learning perspectives, not only applying our theoretical knowledge into practice, this is a great opportunity to learn new things and hone our skills in interpersonal perspective. In addition, the project encourages team spirit and cooperation skills, which are essential in our working life.