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American Booty: Building The World’s Largest Wayfinder

23 Oct 2014
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BY TYLER HIVELY

We love GPS. It helps us get across town and across the world. It can light the way to new restaurants and take us down side roads to hidden gems. And on particularly strange nights, it helps us get back home. But for all its benefits, GPS is still a limited technology. While it can navigate a door to door journey anywhere in the world, it’s little good once you get inside that door.

Global positioning systems are just that, global. They’re macro solutions which means they don’t work well in micro situations like, say, a large casino, a concert hall or a mall. Sure, GPS can get you there, it can tell you where to park the car, but it can’t help you find anything specific inside the building.

When GPS first gained mass adoption, it served its purpose but no one really expected it to do much more than give general directions. This was, of course, in a time before everyone had a compact supercomputer of a smartphone in their pocket. The advent of smartphones gave users the idea that if they want something specific, they should be able to download an app and find that something specific. Users the world over quickly became accustomed to GPS giving them directions for anywhere they wanted to go. Why, then, couldn’t users be given directions once they were inside a building?

This was what guests at Caesars wondered. Luckily for them, Caesars had an ace up their sleeve: us. Working with Lighthouse, we built Caesars the world’s largest wayfinder. The technology acts much like a GPS system for road navigation except that its realm is the interior of a building. “The reason GPS doesn’t work for interiors is that they can’t get granular enough or there’s just no signal,” says Chaotic Moon Android Engineer, Andy Castagno. “The wayfinder uses WiFi signal strength to triangulate exactly where a user is so the system can always give them accurate information.”

Aside from letting users know where they are, eventually the wayfinding feature in Play by Total Rewards app would make it possible for users to interact with Caesars in new ways. As users approach new stores or areas, the system could push relevant content right to their phones. This could be anything from a friendly “Hey there” to an actual discount within the store. Since this is the largest in the world, tracking and speaking to users requires quite the robust system. Needless to say, we’re pretty proud of it.

As we continue to tweak and iterate toward the perfect wayfinding experience at Caesars, we’ve discovered how versatile it can be for other clients. The wayfinder would be just as comfortable helping patients navigate a hospital or a large museum, while allowing stores to push deals and suggested attractions to entering customers. Essentially, this system can be customized to the specific needs of the building.

As more and more users become familiar with this kind of interactive technology, the big names in the industry have started to follow the trail we helped blaze. The top tech companies in the world have just now started playing in this field but since the world’s largest wayfinder still has our name on it, this is our turf.

Chaos Theory is a Chaotic Moon Studios publication. We are a creative technology studio in Austin, TX obsessed with creating innovative user-centered design and developing intelligent custom software for the world’s biggest and best brands. To engage us about a potential project, send an email to hello@chaoticmoon.com