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There’s a specific quality that has the ability to differentiate entertainment venues – something we call the immersive experience. It’s the immersive experience that makes a person feel like they are part of the story. There are understandably various components at play when delivering the immersive experience, but it’s often the smart use of technology that makes the immersive experience feasible.
As these technologies continue to evolve, and creative applications expand, the potential exists to impact experiences in truly innovative ways. With the right application of today’s sensor based, data-fueled technologies, our entertainment, as well as our daily engagements, have the potential to become far more fluid and immersive.
Simply put, we are on the road to a smart future.
Smart home systems have created quite the buzz in recent years. In most cases, these systems quickly learn your patterns and take action. They can learn when you get up, and what’s involved in your daily routines. Smart home systems have the ability to turn on the floor and towel warmers, activate defog coils behind bathroom mirrors, make coffee, deice sidewalks, manage lighting as well as control heating and cooling systems. In each instance, technology takes action to enhance your daily experience.
Smart buildings are also evolving. By leveraging occupancy sensors, smart buildings can effectively control energy use without hampering anyone’s experience. Smart glass can also play a role here. Weather sensors can work with irrigation systems to provide a balance between keeping the grass green and avoiding situations where people have wet shoes or pant legs during events.
This all eventually led to the introduction of smart cities and the ability to leverage sensor-based data to dynamically manage traffic flow, optimize utility grids and provide emergency services. These are all things that on the surface may not seem exciting, but they can dramatically impact daily life experiences. For instance, dynamic traffic management within smart cities can seamlessly disperse congestion to enable everyone in the city to move without delays. Specifically, if you are going to dinner and do not want to deal with traffic, you may receive different recommendations
When converging sensor data, advanced analytics capabilities and security systems, it’s possible to predict where people are headed. With this type of insight makes it feasible to provide real-time notice to restaurants and vendors to prepare for crowd swells, or let custodial services know that it’s time to clean restrooms.
These same technologies can apply to entertainment destinations or theme-based attractions as well. Consider, for instance, leveraging people counters to monitor throughput to make real-time recommendations around optimally staffing various aspects of an experience. Or, an attraction could leverage this data to actively change displays with information to captivate a crowd and essentially slow movement to avoid congestion at a known bottleneck.
Dynamic wayfinding also shows promise. For example, sensors can identify when someone with young kids approaches the directory. Analytics insights could prompt immediate action to improve the guest’s experience. In this instance, the directory could immediately change to place prominence on child-friendly stores or restaurants.
IoT’s expansion plays a key role in keeping this evolution moving forward. Our devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) are already discoverable. And the more we leverage the potential already built into these everyday devices, the more we will recognize the benefits.
For example, in a fully connected environment, your phone could suggest buying a gallon of milk on your way home from work. The reasoning behind the suggestion would be intuitive because the system not only knows what is in your refrigerator, it also knows how many bowls of cereal your eats over the weekend. The same could be true for any consumable.
Of course, security and privacy are always a concern when considering the smart future. After all, there will always be devious ways to leverage data and technology. However, what is commonly overlooked is that these systems rarely focus on personally identifiable information. They simply look for patterns. People should always be able to make their own choices. If you receive an advertisement, it is just a suggestion. But sometimes, these suggestions can inform you about better choices that you may not otherwise consider.
Ryan Poe, Electrosonic’s Director of Technology Solutions, works and writes on the frontiers of advanced technology. He is a trusted adviser on leveraging technology in new ways and works within our Innovation Garage framework to evaluate new technologies and develop resources that support a portfolio of advanced services.