WiFi Makes Communities Smarter, Safer and More Accessible

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 wifi analytics to help make 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. Read More: Cities Are On the EDGE of Smarter, Seamless Connectivity

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 Analytics 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.

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Custom Splash Page Builder

A custom splash page helps give a captive portal the branded look it needs to stand out from the crowd and give guests the peace of mind they’re accessing the network associated with the venue they’re visiting.

WiFi Payments and Vouchers

Offer premium guest WiFi access and promote WiFi upgrades with comprehensive payment and voucher modules. Payments can be used to offer guests varying speeds of WiFi access, while vouchers are great for venues that want to utilize a captive portal that also requires a voucher code for WiFi access.
WiFi payments and vouchers

Guest Plans

Venues can now offer multiple levels of guest WiFi access with our Guest Plan feature. Guest Plans are defined by specific upload and download speeds and session time limits. Brick-and-mortar businesses can offer guest WiFi access and promote WiFi upgrades with our new payment and voucher modules.

Versatile Form Builder

Create and display custom guest surveys on any splash page of your guest flow. Collect feedback and gather additional data points to create smarter marketing.

Enhanced Guest Flow

Guest flow gives venues complete control over the guest WiFi experience. Guest flows help keep a visually pleasing captive portal experience by preventing clutter of multiple marketing assets. Keep it simple, or turn your WiFi into a digital billboard.
WiFi splash page with survey social login

Integrated Ad Spaces

Ad Space Integrations is a powerful feature for venues who want to promote products, deals and specials, online shopping, loyalty programs and other signups, or third-party advertisers all on a pre-authenticated Splash Page.

Increase impressions and clicks for advertising opportunities by showcasing AdSpaces before requiring a guest to connect to WiFi.

Have an app that needs more downloads? The URL redirect function will navigate guests to the app store specific to their device as soon as they click on the advertisement/call-to-action button.

No more will guests have to wait to connect to WiFi to reach interactive ads. Ad Space Integrations takes Ads4WiFi smart advertising tools and places it our smart marketing environment powered by Marketing4WiFi.

Hotspot Scheduler

Determine the specific days and times that WiFi is available to guests. Hotspot Scheduler offers smarter WiFi control by allowing venues to run their guest WiFi during business hours.