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WiFi Makes Communities Smarter, Safer and More Accessible

Blog,Smart WiFi - Feb 1, 2018

In 2018, we have come to expect free WiFi as an available commodity in just about any public space.  In reality, wireless internet is a very recent revolutionary technological advance. As the availability of public WiFi increases, so too do the opportunities for it to help take the world smarter, safer, and more accessible.

Consider this: Every time a person connects to a WiFi network through a captive portal, they are opening themselves up to share behavioral and demographic data that can be leveraged in a number of ways to improve the community around them.

WiFi Is Making Cities Smarter

More and more cities are offering free WiFi for residents and visitors to use while out in public spaces. New York City has recently made WiFi available in the subway system,  But WiFi is more than a tourist perk –  it’s an investment in the future.

Smart cities will be more efficient, more cost-effective, and more adaptable.

Tracking usage across WiFi access points in cities and towns can inform pedestrian patterns, peak times of usage, foot traffic issues or potential bottlenecks. While no one is going to redesign Times Square to make it more foot-traffic friendly, WiFi data will be used to plan new public spaces and augment existing pedestrian footpaths.

The IoT (Internet of Things) and WiFi will herald in a city where every streetlight, mailbox and trash can are connected, delivering data back to city planners and local governments. The city of the future will remotely manage its power grid, water systems, and traffic – all through the internet.

WiFi Is Making Campuses Safer

The same technology that will help ease a city’s power grid problems is already making college campuses safer. Most college campuses are offering  public WiFi, and, as one study shows, network usage data combined with class schedules and geographical data paints a very informative picture of a campus.

This data will increasingly be used to identify not just peak times of traffic, but times of day when certain routes or areas of the campus are underutilized. Campus security may decide to add more patrols at those times, or install cameras, or emergency phones, or all of the above.

Kansas State University developed the LiveSafe app so students can communicate quickly with campus police. In the future, other universities are expected to  expand that connection beyond an app. A login dashboard for campus WiFi would allow students—or visiting friends and family—to directly report security issues. Using social credentials or SMS logins for campus WiFi will also make emergency communications faster and easier.  

Finally, IoT will work to keep campus security personnel connected and informed. Wireless key cards are already making it easier to monitor and limit access across the campus, and initiate a lockdown if necessary.

WiFi Will Make Communities More Accessible

An estimated 48.9 million people in America live with a disability. That’s about 19% of our population. Smart technology is already playing an integral part in solutions that improve mobility and accessibility.

Cities, towns and communities across the country are testing beacons to help those with visual impairments navigate their surroundings. Bluetooth is typically used with beacon technology, but what if the beacons were unnecessary?

In the very near future, WiFi access points could be used as the beacons, offering navigational guidance and other helpful service information as soon as a guest’s WiFi enabled phone comes within the proximity.

Leveraging WiFi rather than Bluetooth also eliminates coverage issues. For example, a person with blindness or low vision moving inside a building–or inside New York’s subway system–won’t have a cellular signal. And the beacons they rely on also won’t have any cellular connectivity.

But a WiFi hotspot doesn’t have that issue. Install it anywhere–a public park or underneath the Hudson river–and anyone with a phone, laptop, or tablet can connect to it.

Guest WiFi can also serve accessibility services at venues. A restaurant could offer navigational guidance for customers with visual disabilities right from its guest WiFi login screen. A custom landing page on guest WiFi could enable guests to self-identify as needing a special menu or other assistance.

The only limit to WiFi’s potential to improve the quality of our lives is our own human ingenuity. If you’re ready to see what Smart WiFi can do for your business, say hello. We’d love to show you the possibilities.

Incentivize Your WiFi Hotspot

How To Incentivize Your WiFi Hotspot In Four Steps

WiFi Advertising - Aug 8, 2017

Once you’ve decided to invest in a wi-fi hotspot for your business, one of the many things you will need to consider as you set it up is how to get your customers to use it once it is ready to go. Here are a few simple ideas to help incentivize your WiFi hotspot and make it more useful for you and your customers.

Locate your network where customers are going to be

Ideally, your shop is in a visible, public spot people walk by anyway. You’ll find people head for shopping malls and retail stores in their off-time, so setting it up near the front of your shop is a good idea. An even better idea is creating a comfortable area for people to sit and use your network, especially if they are there with someone else who is shopping.

Make your network visible

People will not use what they do not know is there. Put signs up in your windows to let your customers know you have a hotspot. Placing signs in public areas around your shop will let them know before they come in, and maybe earn you a few customers who might have passed you by for another shop otherwise.

Make sure the signal is strong

Just like people will not use what they do not is there, they will not use a network that has a weak signal or other problems that could make it unreliable. Make use of stumbling and surveying tools to check out the strength of your signal at every possible location within your shop. Customers will appreciate being able to use the network no matter where they are inside the store.

Make it easy to connect

No one wants to go through a long and complicated authentication process just to access the WiFi for the time they will be spending in your shop. A basic login allows your customers to get online quickly without the fuss of a giant form to fill out. If you’re looking for a way to collect demographic information with your network at the same time, consider a social login. Either way, your customers will have easy access to your network, and monitoring their access will be much easier for you. It will also be easier to gather the data you need to help improve your current sales and marketing strategies.

Once your hotspots are being utilized, what’s the next step? You are providing an amenity for people near your business, but what is the return for you? With a Social WiFi solution, you can generate an additional value through your WiFi service by capturing user information, targeting, and marketing your business to those you who have connected to your hotspot. Creating your own base and marketing to them is a surefire way to garner additional interest and transform connections into customers.

 Contact Us today, and we’ll help you flip those connections into customers!

Wifi Hotspot

Three Easy Ways To Encourage Customers To Access Your Wifi Hotspot

WiFi Advertising - Jul 27, 2017

We could have come up with 17 complicated ways to encourage customers to access your WiFi hotspot, but we thought better of it. Instead, here are three easy ways to do it!

Quick Authentication Means More Users

No one wants to spend a great deal of time in attempting to utilize a WiFi connection. In this fast paced world, people want the handy in and out option that is becoming readily available in many venues. By providing an authentication process that is quick and easy, you will gain many more users. You could even allow the option of logging in by using social media credentials.  

Rewards and Incentives For New And Returning Customers

Offering a particular incentive for using your WiFi connection is another valuable tool for increased customer participation. For instance, you could offer a discount on your products or even a freebie of some sort. When the ends justify the means, you can count on increased traffic and all the benefits that come with it!

Customized Incentives Based On Statistics

By taking into consideration your hit statistics, you can tailor rewards based on visitor specifics. For instance, if you notice that WiFi users are only signing in once, you can send a special offer for a second purchase that is likely to lure them back. If your statistics tell you that at your clothing shop, most of your patrons are female, you would do well to offer discounts on female clothing items more so than male.

Simply figuring out the prominent behavior patterns of your target audience will give you an upper hand in gaining their interaction. Having a splash page that is tailored to that audience can mean that they are more likely to access your WiFi hotspot again and again.

For more information on specifics regarding WiFi accessibility for your business please feel free to contact us today. We look forward to serving you!

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