How to improve physical environments and user experience with Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) technology
There are many places and contexts in which diverse and dynamic groups of people move around large and often complicated physical settings. This could be a shopping centre, museum or art gallery, an airport, train station, office building or conference space.
In most instances, management of these spaces can be improved if organisations are able to track the flow of people through the building, and communicate with visitors or staff members directly. One emerging technology that enables this to happen is Connected Mobile Experiences, or CMX.
What is CMX?
A CMX is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product, or collection of products, aimed at aggregating intelligence across a specific physical environment for both user location services and advanced analytics. Internet connected devices such as laptops and mobile phones send out continuous probes, looking for Wi-Fi networks to connect to, and CMX software uses these probes to track the location of each device as it moves throughout the space. The result is a detailed picture of how devices, and therefore users, interact with a given location or environment.
In public spaces, where an open Wi-Fi network is provided, users can even be encouraged to download apps, through which organisations can connect directly with customers or visitors, gaining a greater understanding into user behaviour and a direct communication channel for initiatives such as marketing promotions, for example.
Practical Applications of CMX
CMX can be deployed in a number of different types of organisations and settings. This includes the following:
CMX for Public Spaces – CMX can be utilised in public or retail environments like museums and shopping centres where users can also be encouraged to download a mobile app that allows them to interact with the space. The app might incorporate a map, for example, which can tell users how to find the particular shops or exhibits they are looking for, and with location tracking, it can help them find other features in their immediate environment that they would not otherwise be aware of. This not only assists with internal navigation but can be used as a foundation for targeted marketing, alerting users to particular offers or information when they are near an appropriate sensor. In museums or conferences, the same mechanism can be used to deliver information on specific exhibits.
CMX for corporate spaces – Collecting and tracking location data allows managers to rapidly form a detailed picture of what is going on in their building, from the most popular routes through an environment, and dwell time in different areas, to overall footfall and the number of first time and repeat visitors. And this, in turn, can enable managers to make informed decisions regarding anything from Wi-Fi strength, to lighting and air conditioning, and even security mechanisms and systems – all of which helps to deliver a more efficient, and cost-effective management of the space in question.
CMX also has additional capabilities that could be useful in a corporate environment; for example, mail trolleys can be equipped with location sensors, making it possible to alert users when deliveries are on their way. If specific parameters are set around meeting room availability, then users can similarly be alerted on their mobile devices when a meeting room becomes free. Most CMX software can also log up to five devices for each person, and link them together, so if someone comes in with different devices on different days, it can still track the user as a repeat visitor.
Security and Privacy
One of the major benefits of CMX is that the data used to track user movement throughout an environment does not have to be personal or identifiable data, reducing associated security and privacy risks. The information gained when a mobile device is searching for available Wi-Fi networks, for example, is not information that identifies the individual, despite its ability to provide useful intelligence to the organisation responsible for the running of the environment.
Making use of your data
For any business or organisation relying on a large number of people visiting or interacting with a large and varied space, CMX can be an invaluable tool for altering the environment to suit the behaviour of the visitors, and influencing visitor behaviour. The information obtained through CMX enables facilities managers to generate a more holistic view of how assets and areas are being used. Gathering this data will offer a distinct advantage to managers for future planning as well as delivering immediate improvements in user experience and the business bottom line.