Luton Airport

Gloucester Quays

msn

Brent Cross

Network Rail

Ideal for...
Mall Guides Office Buildings Hospitals
Airports Tourist Centres Theme Parks
City Centres Supermarkets Bus Routes
          + many more
Gloucester Quays
Gloucester Quays

Brent Cross
Brent Cross

NHS
NHS
Wayfinding

One of the most asked about interactive systems is a Wayfinder kiosk, sometimes known as a Directory Information Kiosk or a Building Directory Kiosk. These are an ideal way to provide customers or visitors with a simple method of finding their way to their destination as quickly as possible, with the minimum of interaction with members of your staff. They are typically provided with disabled access features, and also can also be provided with multiple language options which mean more support for your visitors.

These wayfinder kiosks are typically used in Shopping Malls, Hospitals, City Centres, Airports, large car parking areas and other locations where people can be easily lost, or where traditional directional signage is unavailable or inadequate.

It must be pointed out that in some cases, a member of staff may still be required to give assistance (e.g. for people with certain disabilities, or people adverse to using technology), but with the right user interface, most people prefer to use a self-service wayfinding kiosk, and if not the member of staff can use the kiosk as an aid in showing the person the route (sometimes even having a separate secret way of accessing extra features).

In all cases, a simple to use interface means that people can find what or where they are looking for, quickly and simply (see some examples below).

Sometimes the same system can be used to provide a wayfinding sign or wayfinder sign. This is usually a Digital Signage system (i.e. an LCD or plasma screen, usually in a housing) which is used for non-interactive display. This could show an advert or information as a Flash animation or video or graphic, and this can contain information showing the viewer directions and distance to the store where they can purchase the items being advertised. With multiple units at a location, these can act as guides to the viewers where the store is (with each unit showing the details of the route and distance based the position of that unit in relation to the store).

For larger locations, other options rather than just kiosks are available as Wayfinding guides. If the wayfinder kiosks are installed in the location, these are an excellent way of letting the person search for and choose their destination. The kiosk is then aware of it’s own location and the person’s destination and can provide a route between the two. The kiosk can then show this route using a variety of different methods (including 2D traditional map, 3D walkthrough, turn by turn directions, etc) to ensure the person understands it, but as with most things, it is very likely that the person will forget the route and get lost in transit. Rather than providing lots of kiosks, cheaper alternatives are available.

 


These alternatives include:

Print-out Maps:

print out of map

Providing a printed map of the route with directions from the kiosk. This provides clear instructions and can also be used to retrace the route in reverse once the visit is finished.
 

Care needs to be taken about the size of the routes vs. the type and size of printer used. The printouts can also include a unique barcode for the route to be used with Guides (see below).

Guide Point Signage Screens:

Guiide Screen

Guide Points. Cheaper Digital Signage displays can be installed at key locations around the area where people may pass or migrate to when lost en-route.
 

Using the Bluetooth from a cell (mobile) phone or other identifying device (e.g. RFID ticket or card), the Wayfinding kiosk can identify the person and as the route is now known and pre-calculated, the Guide screens can then direct the person to their destination as they get near the Digital Signage screen. If the person doesn’t have an electronic device we can use, the printed route can include a barcode which can be scanned on a device attached to the Guide Point.

Portable Device Navigation:

Blue tooth technology

Portable Devices – If the person already owns a mobile device (e.g. web-enabled Cell/Mobile Phone) they can be provided with a website link (either via Bluetooth or SMS push, or just type the URL in).

On here, the person can access the route which has been generated for them using the kiosk and follow it using graphics or a map. As many devices do not have the processing power to render the route in 3D or animated 2D, these can be pre-rendered on the server and supplied as an animated sequence to the device. Also, using 2D barcodes on the screen, the person can present their phone to one of the Guide Points for further directions, or if Guide Points are not being used, the phone can be used to take a photograph of 3D barcodes in key locations and the wayfinder webserver can create a new route from this location.

As well as a wayfinder kiosk solution, the same systems can also be used to provide advertising and digital concierge information (to direct people to locations as well as book them in/provide a telephone link to them).

For more information or to discuss your requirements, please
contact us.