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    October 13, 2023

    How AI Enables Places to Respond to People

    How AI enables Places to respond to People

    If you ask someone what a place is, i.e. What is an Airport, Stadium or Shopping Center? They’ll usually tell you what people do at that place rather than what the physical place is. The reason for this is the physical place itself is inanimate, it’s mostly made up of brick, mortar, steel and glass. 

    This concept of a physical place is impersonal to us, so we tend to associate our understanding and opinion of a place as the human experiences we have within it. For example, I will remember the time when airport staff were able to direct me to the departure gate just in time so I didn’t miss my daughter’s birthday. These personalized moments are what makes our experiences in places memorable, because we seek interactions that understand us as individuals.

    We may be inspired by the architectural beauty of a place or feel comfortable within its sheltered walls, however, places rely on us as humans to bring them to life. But what if a place could contribute more intelligently to our experiences than simply aesthetic inspiration or air conditioned comfort, what if it was more than just brick and mortar. 

    If a place is aware of what is happening within it, then it would be able to respond to the needs of its staff and visitors. Further to this point, a physical place that can learn, evolve and adapt to the changing demands and preferences of its people, is no longer purely inanimate. 

    The changing face of Place: Why Places need to respond to People

    It’s clear societal norms have forever changed in this post pandemic era. People are more comfortable being at home and interacting with others via video calls and conferences. The demand for delivery services coupled with the logistical advancements in this industry has changed our purchase preferences to one of convenience. For a lot of people the way we work has changed to hybrid or from-home. These changes also impact our pre and post work activities like socializing with friends or our shopping patterns. 

    In short, people have shifted their daily routines to not be as intertwined with places. People have also come to expect a certain level of convenience in their lives. 

    It’s therefore fundamental that a place creates an environment that is efficient, attentive and responsive to their needs. The staff who work at a place can provide this to some degree, but at-home digital experiences have been providing a level of automation, personalization and efficiency that can be hard to replicate at scale in physical environments with staff alone.

    Advances in AI technologies have only strengthened digital experiences. For example, a consumer considering whether to visit a retail store, needs a reason not to say ‘Alexa do my shopping’. A place based experience needs to incorporate the benefits of AI driven digital experiences whilst bringing something new to the table.

    Place Data: The essential element for any Smart Place. 

    In order for a place to become intelligent it needs data. It needs training data to generate AI models, it needs real-time data to respond to what’s currently happening and it needs historical data to predict what may happen in the future. Place data relates to any data set that can measure what occurs within a place. Core place data sets include;


    • WiFi - allows a place to build a rich database of visitor information using a Guest WiFi Portal. It provides a connection between people and a place, whereby places can begin to intelligently communicate to people based on their actions and preferences. 
    • People Counters - including stereoscopic cameras or line of sight sensors allow a place to understand, predict and respond to demand. 
    • LiDAR / Camera - can measure the flow of people, vehicles and other types of objects through and place and respond to specific behaviors such as crowding, queuing or unauthorized access. 
    • BLE - can anonymously measure the flow of devices such as mobile phones through a place to map visitor journeys or trigger notifications to mobile apps. 
    • GPS - can measure journey times and distances to places to intelligently inform people of the most efficient times to arrive. 
    • Mobile App - can digitally augment peoples’ experiences with intelligent and contextual content. 


    Supporting data sets are those that give context to the observations the core place data sets provide, some examples are;


    • POS / Spend - can be used to predict the efficiency of staffing levels or be used to develop audience segments based on consumer preferences. 
    • Social - can validate behavioral insights derived from core place data sets, like long queue times etc. to confirm what people are saying about your place on social media. 
    • Survey - can match the behavioral experiences derived from core place data sets to the sentiment of people at specific times and locations within a place. 
    • Campaign - can influence the behavior of people while at a place such as proximity marketing, or measure the performance of campaigns through visitation attribution. 
    • BMS / PMS - core place data insights can be used to automate smart building operations such as; HVAC, lighting or Access Control. 
    • ERP / Staffing - can support core place data by predicting when and where employees should be to ensure that visitors have the best experience possible. 
    • AODB - in airports AODB data can be used to associate or predict the flow of passenger traffic relative to specific airlines or flights. 


    Without these core and supporting data sets a place remains brick and mortar, with them it becomes something more, it becomes a place where people want to be. 

    The Benefits: Of becoming a responsive Place

    If place data is integrated into an intelligent system then virtually every aspect of the operations can be enhanced, it provides the connection between a place and its people. Here are some of the ways a responsive place can benefit;

    Operational efficiency is improved, either through the automation of manual processes or by augmenting staff responses. An intelligent system backed with real world data makes things more efficient, responsive and cost effective. 

    Revenue Growth is a natural outcome when a place is efficient and understands the preferences of individuals. 

    Increased experience, satisfaction and loyalty comes when creating a place where people want to be. If a place itself is seen as responsive then people will develop a deeper connection with it. 

    Improved health and safety is achieved by observing conditions that could lead to an incident. A system with the intelligence to proactively respond to incidents can help to avoid them. 

    Beonic: An Intelligent source of Knowledge for your Place 

    When you consider the lifetime of a place, its people come and go but the place remains. No employee, customer, student, passenger or fan will be there indefinitely. The human interactions that occur in places need to be harnessed and should not be lost as people come and go. An intelligent system that can turn these interactions into responses is what is required to transform a place into something more. 

    The Beonic AI platform has been designed and developed for over a decade with the idea that a place can become an intelligent system. The place has the data and our platform provides the intelligence that brings this data together and the place to life.

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