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Jun 11, 2019 | In the News

3D location platforms aids hotels, public safety indoors

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The service provides enterprises and public safety agencies with pinpoint location, indoors and in high-rise buildings, with floor-level and room-level accuracy, a difficult challenge in such GPS-denied environments.

Orion indoor location example (Screengrab: Orion)

Orion indoor location example (Screengrab: Orion)

The system enables customers to locate team members on the vertical axis accurate to three meters’ distance, to keep teams better-informed and better-connected, enhance team performance and improve worker safety. It works via Orion Sync, a standalone smart walkie-talkie, or as device as a service, in a smartphone form factor.

“For our hospitality and retail customers, this offers the opportunity to greatly improve guest services and the experience they deliver. For public safety and healthcare customers, the integration has the potential to save lives,” said Jesse Robbins, founder and CEO.

According to co-founder and CTO Greg Albrecht, “With 3D location tracking, hospitality teams can easily pinpoint where their guest service workers are located and identify the right team member for faster guest response for tasks like bringing up clean towels to a guest, fixing a TV or lightbulb in a guestroom, or clearing trays and carts,” he said.

The system also protects lone workers. “When lone workers call for help, security teams can rapidly dispatch assistance without the lone worker needing to explain their location,” Albrecht said. “This is the same kind of technology that first responders are now adopting to accurately and rapidly locate 911 callers facing life-threatening situations.”

Hotel workers suffer work-related incidents, encompassing physical injuries, medical emergencies, theft and sexual harassment, nearly 50 percent more than is the average across all other industries. Large metropolitan hotels can approximate small cities, with as many as 5,000 rooms, 12,000 guests, and 8,000 employees. Even a moderate-sized hotel can have hundreds of employees scattered across many floors, some remote from central operations. Locating employees quickly is key to preventing or minimizing incidents.

Need maps. A fundamental challenge in developing 3D location awareness indoors is the need for accurate, detailed 3D renderings of the physical buildings themselves.

“For most buildings, this has never been done before and is often an arduous task to accomplish,” Albrecht added. “However, there is a mapping process to allow for precise data points to be leveraged within the Orion platform. It’s a very simple task that can be completed even by the hotel staff at the time of setup. After that, it’s extremely simple to set up teams within the Orion System with a 3D view of their property that they can use.”

The latest integration is undergoing tests at locations in Las Vegas and San Francisco, with more than 50 locations actively using the set-up.

In March, Polaris Wireless, a provider of software-based 3D location solutions to wireless operators, law enforcement and government agencies, and location-based application companies, announced the commercial availability of its high-accuracy carrier-independent 3D location platform for application developers.

In early 2018, Polaris Wireless participated in the CTIA’s Test Bed LLC Stage Z independent vertical location testing in San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago, achieving floor-level accuracy.

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