3 Ways Beacons Can Enhance College Campuses

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – Anyone who attended college prior to the era of smart devices might be thrilled at what’s new on campus. Take beacon technology, for example. Beacons are adept at communicating information to nearby smartphone users based on their location and proximity to other beacons. This flexible mode of communication helps to make buildings spread out across a large campus feel a bit closer together.

Here are three specific ways beacons can help improve the college experience, courtesy of the blog of Digital Social Retail, a company that has developed a beacon management platform that is revolutionizing the relationship between customers and brands:

  • Improving navigation: Beacons can provide real-time class schedules, mapping and attendance tracking services for students and faculty by delivering updates directly to their smartphones. Data streams broadcast by beacons can also be used to deliver interactive maps and inform students when class schedule and room changes have been made. 
  • Redirecting foot traffic: Beacon technology can help limit congestion on campus in many ways. For example, it can direct students away from the food court and toward other dining venues when food lines are stretching out the door. This eases the burden on food court employees and ensures that otherwise overlooked venues receive a steady flow of customers.
  • Assisting visually impaired students: While visually impaired pedestrians are quite adept at making their way from one location to the next, beacon technology provides colleges with a way to seamlessly and subtly provide these students with additional support for tracking down resources like public transportation and emergency services. The beacons can activate audio prompts that give these students directions and other information about a campus.

“A campus wired by beacons is a truly interconnected campus,” says Barry Stone, Director of Marketing at Digital Social Retail. “The amount of information the college can convey to its students makes the entire college community more responsive and fosters greater college identity.”

The Social Retail® digital convergence platform developed by Digital Social Retail works seamlessly with mobile screen messaging triggered by BLE beacons communicating with iOS and Android devices running Bluetooth. The platform has proven itself in a wide variety of applications to date. This technology allows campuses to utilize everything from automated roll call to up-to-the-minute agendas to student safety alerts. Social Retail® connectors placed around ESSEC University in France is giving students live updates of last-minute class changes as well as tools to navigate the campus, as well as news about student activities and more.

“Future generations of college students will come to expect beacons as a normal part of their campus experience, hopefully making it more fun overall,” Stone adds.

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