It's not a question of if but a question of when. Of course I'm referring to RTLS or Real-Time Location Services, the popular "buzzword" you're probably more familiar with are beacons. It's time to start offering your students, faculty and even guests an interactive experience when they access your school's wireless network. Beacon technology is already gaining traction from retail to airports to large sports stadiums everyone is starting to test the waters seeing huge potential. As for colleges and universities the possibilities and reasons to start an RTLS strategy are virtually endless.
To give you a better idea of just how powerful beacons and real-time location services can be, Here are 4 reasons why schools should consider jumping in on the beacon bandwagon.
1. Building relationships
The campus tour for a lot of prospective students plays a huge role when choosing which school to attend, so making a big impression on their first visit is essential. By simply having potential students download an app on their smartphone and pairing it with strategically placed beacons, the school can take a traditional campus tour to the next level with an interactive, location-based experience.
Anything can be "beaconized" from specific buildings offering historical information to the school store and cafeteria offering discounts and promotions, there's opportunities for engagement everywhere.
Whether they're walking with a guided tour group or exploring on their own, you can answer frequently asked questions about safety, walkability, and navigating the campus. Every prospective student and their parents will get a rich, vibrant experience.
Suggested Reading: "How to Design Better Contextual Wi-Fi Experiences Using Beacons"
Alumni can also benefit from this, as it might be refreshing to hear about things that have changed around campus since their last visit and even be reminded of the things that have remained the same.
2. Engaging students with their course materials
In the classroom environment, RTLS can also be used for the easy delivery of targeted, interactive content straight to the students mobile device such as an iPad or smartphone. Students can get all the content they need the moment they step into a classroom whether its ebooks, websites, assessments, graphics, videos, and more.
Beacons offer great value especially for schools with concerns about providing open access to the web, now only digital content chosen for the classroom can be made available—with no access to the pathways or distractions of the open web.
Suggested Reading: "11 Helpful Ways Beacons are Changing Education"
3. Enhancing the campus experience
For most students when they enroll in college, the experiences that come with it go beyond the academics. The college experience includes concerts, sports games, work, and living in dorms; the campus life becomes their whole world.
By using context-based solutions, universities can add another layer of engagement by allowing students to check in to a specific location, upload photos and messages, and share the experience with all of the people around them.
Students can also make it to class on-time through wayfinding. A lot of campuses are large areas, with wayfinding you can give anyone the ability to have turn-by-turn navigation to literally anywhere on campus. Imagine it's your first day, you're nervous and running late for class, you think you remember where it is but not 100% sure, well not to worry because your school's app will lead you right to your seat.
4. Big Data Potential
Smartphones have become the device of choice of today's students and staff. In fact the demand on campus wireless networks is under huge pressure to keep up with the continued increase in numbers of mobile devices.
The mobile culture of colleges is the perfect setting for location-based services and the opportunity to collect huge amounts of data to continually improve their institution. Universities and colleges can see which events are more popular than others, watch trends in usage at various facilities like health centers, and monitor traffic patterns and busiest hours to name a few.
This data can be an invaluable tool for college administrative teams to create a more highly personalized experience, while also helping to maximize their budgets and optimize the campus environment.
Campuses that transition early to the use of location-based services will be poised to reap its many benefits. Remember it's not a question of if, but a question of when.
If you would like to discuss your mobility strategy or enhancing your campus through Wi-Fi and real-time location services simply contact us here!