QR code, why and how in wayfinder software!

July 26, 2022

We have all seen QR codes in product labels, marketing ads, on business cards, in logistic labels, self service solutions and many other places. Today you can even get it free on online platforms like QR Code-Monkey . But did you know that QR code is very handy in indoor tracking and wayfinder software?

Here are five ways we can apply QR code to make life easier for end users:

QR code scanned indoor positioning map on smart phone - 3D Wayfinder

1. QR code helps you avoid viruses!

QR code scan allows to use indoor positioning software on your phone with out need to touch kiosk glass. This option is in use especially in healthcare industry. It is easier for older people as well, as you do not need to download anything to your smartphone. After scanning QR code you can open HTML page with map and use it like on self-service kiosk but on your phone. And there is no fear that you can catch viruses by touching public use self-service kiosks.

2. QR code on 2D & 3D wayfinder software UI!

Self-service kiosks are often pricey and placing it in every floor is out of the question. This is especially case in big hotels, hospitals and universities with more than 5 floors. Even departments stores like to use this option for their visitors and they have self-service kiosk on every floor. Placing QR code on kiosk UI then visitors can easily scan it and carry on their journey with map on phone. There is no need to find another digital signage stand, you have it now on your smartphone. When done, you can easily close HTML page and no software stays on your phone.

3. QR solution for city blocks or old town map!

I understand, first question is: “but everyone can use Google maps?”. Yes of course, it is absolutely an option. But there are time when city or business centers with multiple buildings want more customized solution. This allows to use unique design and better search option, for example tourist attractions. When outdoor self service kiosk can be vandalized or climate is not very welcoming for hardware then QR code can be user proof solution. Then tourist can scan QR code from printed outdoor city maps and get map to phone. Outdoor we can use GPS tracking and get live movement on software making it like customized Google maps.

4. QR code with native app!

Using QR solutions and ibeacons with native app gives a lot more option. iBeacons gives you live movement on map, knowing exactly where visitors are positioned. For example, if we cover parking lots with QR codes, then client can save their location and app remembers your location. After shopping you can get direction back to your car with out hassle. You might think: “But I have never seen this anywhere”. In reality, it is used extensively in Middle-Eastern countries where department stores are huge. You can apply this practice in many other sector, for example in healthcare. To find a way in hospitals you scan QR code, specially made for specific floor and hospital wing. Scan it, get your location and find quickly way to next doctor cabinet. Same way you can apply it in larger business centers.

5. QR code inside indoor positioning software!

Indoor positioning software is not a place you put extended information of companies and stores. Simply, people just use kiosks for direction, read quick intro or look when businesses or stores are open. In this case it is good option to use QR code to give extra information or listed company e-store link. If store is closed, visitor can still check kiosk and scan QR code to open e-store link on smartphone and save it for later purchase.

You have QR code project in mind or idea but not sure id it can be done.

Contact us or get a quote from us we will find just right solution for you!

3D Wayfinder team.

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Keeping floor plan editor idle in the background

August 1, 2017

The new 3D Wayfinder Administration Panel is centered more around the floor plan editor. To provide better usability we keep the 3D editor idle when moving away to other pages. So switching between editor and other views is much faster now.

The new Administration Panel has been publicly available for testing since the beginning of this year. At the end of the summer we will only support the new administration panel. Although the current administration environment will be available for some time.

Loading the 3D floor plan editor takes a couple of seconds because we need to load 3D floor-plans models and also additional editor tools. Now when the editor is always in the background. We do not need to load the 3D editor again. This makes the usage more faster and user friendly.

new 3D floorplan editor

Our new administrator panel is being built on Angularjs. To achieve loading of editor once we have created the service that holds the canvas element. It is also attached our editor API to it. Controller then adds canvas to the editor view and provides connection to API actions.

To see and test new Administration panel and floor plan editor, please log in here. If you don’t have an account with 3D Wayfinder, you can create it here for free.

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Indoor positioning demo with custom floors and iBeacons

July 18, 2017

Now it is possible to order indoor positioning demo application. For demo we will send you required amount of iBeacons devices and create custom 2D or 3D floor plan. With 3D Wayfinder mobile application it is possible to see indoor positioning with wayfinding functionality.

iBeacons are Bluetooth low energy (BLE) devices that can broadcast their identifier to nearby portable electronic devices such as mobile phones or tablets. Also iBeacons don’t cost much and their batteries can last over year which makes them perfect for indoor positioning.

 beacon1_2

We can provide you with a custom demo map with pre-installed iBeacon locations. We will also send beacons for the demo floor plan, usually 3-6 is enough for a 1-2 room demo.  

By installing 3D Wayfinder mobile app, you can test and see iBeacon-based positioning on your real building. To order demo map with beacons, please fill the request form.

Read more about 3D Wayfinder mobile app, iBeacons and indoor positioning.

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Choosing the Best Wayfinding Software

July 5, 2017

There are lots of different wayfinding software and it might be difficult to decide which solution to pick. We have used our experience and gathered some suggestions that will help you choose the best wayfinding application.

Over all the best wayfinding software application is always the one that adapts exactly to your specific needs. Having more options and can help to cater this.

Best Wayfinding software should be..

Wayfinding application should be easily integrated with other applications. One of the most common integration is showing social media content in wayfinding applications. As shopping malls and other public building usually have their news already on Twitter, they would like to include the news feed also in wayfinding.

path-top-down-view

Have a look at our wayfinding possibilities here.

You can choose to buy the product and do all the hosting and managing yourself. Or you can pay for this service. In that case make sure how much you can control the app once it’s up and running. Are you able to change the opening and closing times yourself? Can you add a new location and generate a path way? Or do you need to contact the company for every little change.

Look and feel customization is also something that should be provided. Choosing from existing templates is more cost effective than custom designs but even then it should be possible to change the basic things like the font, it’s size and colors.

Nowadays you can pretty much always choose between 2D or 3D maps. 3D maps are effective and showy on the screen, but it could be costly and time consuming if you want to change the location of the kiosk. The best wayfinding software should provide the option to use both.

3a

You should also check how accurate and detailed the maps are going to be. Although the best way to ensure accuracy is to provide correct data yourself.

Even if you want to use only information kiosks in the beginning, it never hurts to be prepared. If you choose the application that is also mobile friendly, it will save time and money in the future.

Indoor positioning and navigation

The indoor positioning and navigation ability is a must while using the wayfinder mobile app. Right now the iBeacon technology, that uses smartphone’s Bluetooth connection seems to be the most reliable one. Navigation system can also use WiFi networks but it is cost effective only in places like big malls, where every shop already has their own network.

nexus_5

When visitors are searching for something, targeted ads are most impactful. Customers can be attracted by giving out coupons, offering special deals, providing additional information. While nobody is using the information kiosk for wayfinding, the whole screen could be used to display ads.

And last but not least, the pricing. Make sure to find out beforehand what are you going to pay for. For example: will it cost more when you want to add another kiosk later?

There are some other questions you should ask:

Can you use the app online?

Is multiple language support provided?

Can the specific routes for disabled access be displayed?

Will the app collect user data for statistics?

To find the answers to these questions contact: info@3dwayfinder.com.

Have a nice summer,

3D Wayfinder Team

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Compass widget for 3D floor plans

February 15, 2017

We have added compass widget for Developers Template. Compass arrow can be shown on top of the map canvas to point to the north (or any other direction) of the 3D floor plan.

Compass is one of the tools and widgets that is needed for one of our larger building information (BIM) project. There are also other tools under development that provide building information and help work with different data related with building 3D model.3D_Wayfinder_using_compass_widget

Compass widget is using 0-point of the Y-axis. It is called with Camera view-port service orbitController.  It has property currentRotation, which holds the model’s rotation data.  Needle of compass is animated using that data.
Compass example is integrated into Development template. Template can be accessed via the administration panel at admin.3dwayfinder.com when selecting the view with template “DevTemplate”.

When using compass, it is important to notice, that the 3D floorplan has to be modelled north pointing to Z axis. Otherwise you need to make adjustments in widget’s javascript code, which calculates the compass’ position.

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3D Wayfinder development template is now available

January 11, 2017

A new template for development purposes has been published with simplified javascript API. Now it is even easier to get started with 3D Wayfinder and the integration of 3D maps into web applications.

We have published a special template for development purposes. It includes a 3D map with resize function, floor buttons, list of locations and groups etc. Also each part in template has a tooltip, where it is possible to see the javascript function which has been used for that specific section.

3D Wayfinder development template

In Addition with the template we are releasing a new SimpleWayfinderApi class that extends the existing Wayfinder class. You can find the SimpleWayfinderApi documentation here. To use the SimpleWayfinderApi in Your application embed with <script src=”//static.3dwayfinder.com/projects/shared/js/simpleWayfinderApi.js”></script >

It includes basic functions for getting floor, group and location data. Functions for getting specific objects (floor, group, location) to accept the object’s ID as a selector instead of using the object itself as a parameter.

The development template is a good way to start building your web-based 3D applications.
You can use this template by getting the embedded code from the template page. The template itself can be accessed via the administration panel at admin.3dwayfinder.com when selecting the view with template “DevTemplate”.

In addition to the new development template it is possible to test the new SimpleWayfinderAPI in a sandbox at CodePen.

Both the development template and simple wayfinder API will be updated with new features and functions regularly.

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Offline Indoor Wayfinding

July 29, 2015

3D Wayfinder provides offline snapshot add-on to create static wayfinding application that can be used without internet connection. Read more about offline indoor wayfinding. 

Offline_Indoor_Wayfinding_with_3d_wayfinder

When kiosks or digital signage screens don’t have internet connection, then there are 2 options:
1) to use offline snapshot or
2) to install the 3D Wayfinder Enterprise Server locally.

Offline indoor wayfinding snapshot Add-on enables to save 3D Wayfinder projects for offline use. The add-on creates static files of all the assets and modifies the template file for local use. Also to use the snapshot files You need a local web server. Because modern browsers do not allow requests to local files. Read more from the offline snapshot tutorial.

Kiosk or totem set-up is the same as with using 3D Wayfinder from the web.

The only thing with offline snapshots is that after each update the files in kiosk need to be updated.

We are also offering 3D Wayfinder Enterprise Server with Administration panel and everything else, that is needed to administrate wayfinding kiosks locally. For more information, please contact our sales team.

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3D Wayfinder joined the Open Design Alliance

June 19, 2015

We have joined the Open Design Alliance to develop CAD file support to 3D Wayfinder. With CAD support it will be easy to upload building drawing files and show them directly through web.

Open_Design_Alliance_logo_wayfinder

3D Technologies R&D (developer of 3D Wayfinder) is now a member of Open Design Alliance. The Open Design Alliance (ODA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of open industry-standard formats for CAD. ODA was established in 1998 and now has over 1300 members.

Most of the architectural modelling is done with Autodesk CAD software packages, where DWG files are native file formats. DWG is a proprietary and closed file format and it doesn’t have open specifications. ODA has deigned Teigha library which supports the use of C++, .NET, and ActiveX interfaces. Also it allows the exchange of data through .dwg, .dgn and .stl files.

We will search the possibilities to provide also DWG file reading in 3D Wayfinder. This will open up a whole new area for 3D Wayfinder. Architects can directly upload their building drawing to 3D Wayfinder and also real estate managers, building owners etc. For example DWG files that can be viewed through 3D Wayfinder. There will be no need for converting DWG-s to common 3D formats that 3D Wayfinder currently supports.

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3D vs 2D wayfinding

May 18, 2015

What is the difference between 3D vs 2D wayfinding and what are the benefits of 3D floor plans?

We have tested 3D, semi-3D and 2D floor-plans with our small focus-group and below is the short summary.

3D_vs_2D_wayfinding_maps

To see the 3D floor-plans in action, please sign up to 3D Wayfinder for creating your own 3D floor-plans, or see our 3D modelling services and examples.

3D Wayfinder supports also 2D images for creating wayfinding application.

Semi-3D maps are rendered or designed floor plans, that are made to look like 3D. The map is rendered on an angle, so it is possible to see part of walls also.

We are using semi-3D maps for mobile devices, where WebGL is not supported yet.

3D vs 2D wayfinding floor plans

 3D floor plansSemi-3D floor plans2D floor plans
Overview of the building
  • 3D floor plans give a good overview of your location.
  • With 3D users see the map the way they see the building in real life.
  • It is possible to show the details, that people use for orientation inside building, for example escalators, pools, statues, tables, benches, trees etc.
  • Showing walls give a better understanding of where you are and it is easier to link the map with a real building.
  • It is easy to understand which floors have atriums and distinguish between things on different plains.
  • Semi 3D floor plans give also a good overview where you are.
  • Semi 3D can be shown only from the one angle, when looking from the other side, they can be are hard to understand.
  • Limited possibility to show the walls of the building.
  • Detailed 2D floor plans don’t give a clear overview, so it is better to use simple floor plans.
  • With simple maps the amount of details are limited.
  • It is hard for users to understand where they are and linking the map with real building is not that convenient.
  • With 2D it is not possible to show the walls of the building.
Usability of wayfinding application
  • 3D floor plans are easy to use. It is always possible to limit the zoom distances and even forbid rotation if needed.
  • Pathfinding is simple and 3D gives a good visual overview for navigating from one floor to another.
  • It is always possible to use camera view for path visualization.
  • Extra dimension enables to add more info.
  • Semi 3D floor plans are also easy to use, but it is not possible to rotate the maps.
  • Pathfinding is more convenient than 2D, as users can see some parts of the walls.
  • It is possible to add more info to the maps as 2D, but it is still not possible to add as many info/layers than 3D.
  • Rotating and moving is not that convenient, especially when looking on the vertical screen.
  • It is not convenient to guide visitors to other floors.
  • 2D floor plans should be kept simple, as there is limited space for layers and info.
  • Simple maps may not provide enough information and visitors may think, that the maps are not useful for them.
Map details and amount of information on the floor plans
  • With 3D there is one more dimension for presenting details and map related data.
  • Billboards on the map don’t disturb browsing.
  • It is possible to show details for better orientation.
  • It is possible to add more details than 2D maps, but the space for information is still limited.
  • Level of details should be kept as simple as possible, otherwise they disturb the understanding of the map.
  • Illustrated details cannot be presented in real size and it can be confusing.
Impression and imago of the building
  • 3D floor plans look nice and realistic.
  • Visitors have a sense of „controlling the building”, which makes them feel good
  • Users understand, that there has been more effort to make the wayfinding for them as good as possible.
  • Semi 3D looks prettier than plain 2D map.
  • Visitors may get disappointed when they try to turn the building, as they expect it to be real 3D.
  • With too simple 2D maps it is possible, that visitors may avoid using maps not to look foolish.
  • Detailed maps confuse visitors and they feel more lost than they were before stepping in front of the wayfinding application.
Displays and future technological possibilities
  • 3D wayfinding can work also with real 3D technologies like holograms, LED-cubes and 3D displays. Unfortunately these technologies are still in prototype phase.
  • With larger displays it is possible to add more details.
  • There is no reasonable point of showing more details with larger screen.
Advertising channel and Digital Signage integration
  • More advertisements can be shown on the maps, as the ads don’t hide the map.
  • Billboard ads on the maps look cooler and attractive.
  • Better than 2D but the advertisements still hide the map.
  • Advertisements disturb the using the wayfinding.
  • Less space for advertisements, as they hide the map behind them.

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