COVID -19 and Traceability Solutions

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COVID -19 and Traceability Solutions

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). In the absence of a vaccine or specific antiviral treatment, maintaining good hand hygiene and limiting contact with other people continue to be the most recommended course of action to be taken by the general public.

PenguinIN real-time location system (RTLS) provides valuable tools to ensure hand hygiene compliance monitoring, tracking of assets and people, visitor management, and contact traceability between patients, visitors, staff and equipment. PenguinIN can integrate with existing Wi-Fi infrastructure including Cisco, Meraki, Ruckus, and MIST to provide a form of traceability and visibility which otherwise may not be available.

PenguinIN wishes everyone the best. Stay safe!

Backend Retail Operations

Retail store operation or retail backend concerns all aspects of keeping a store functioning well. In this blog post, we present PenguinIN applications of real-time location systems (RTLS) in retail operations.


Physical Space:

A content management system can be used to upload maps (e.g. warehouse), define interactive zones and aisles on these maps, create routes, and enter information related to each zone/aisle. Per-aisle information may also be integrated with product databases. This is expected to simplify the onboarding of employees who can search for and locate items digitally. ROI is built on reduced training costs and lost search time.


Staff Administration: 

RTLS can automate attendance taking (in/out of the store) and staff presence checking against assigned zones. At PenguinIN, we refer to this as zone-based tracking. Tracking staff for attendance and presence purposes requires a tag or can be done using employee phone with the ability to request on-phone fingerprinting as a second-factor authentication.

Business rules can be leveraged to notify/alert supervisors of absent staff or those who are outside their designated zones. The ROI for this application is derived from higher compliance and better efficiency. In scenarios where privacy is a concern, management can review the analytics based on aggregate trends.


Equipment Administration:

PenguinIN can track anything that is bulky, moves, and is of significant value. For example, forklift tracking and wayfinding (usually done on a tablet mounted on the forklift) with the ability to fence off floor areas during un/loading events from the content management system. These fenced off areas will be automatically reflected in the suggested routes given to the forklift driver when moving inside the warehouse.  The ROI here is built on the reduction of insurance-impacting forklift-related workplace injuries.

Furthermore, tracked equipment and assets provide for data-validated utilization information such as operating hours of forklifts, zones requiring them the most, etc. providing an important decision-making tool.



A key application of RTLS is the tracking of security staff inside premises to ensure rounds are done as required (right time/right location). Certain types of tags have duress call functionality which can be integrated with public announcement systems. This feature enables an inexpensive $20 tag with a push button to become a cost-effective dispatching solution.


Visitor Administration:

Warehouses and front shops usually support vendor accessibility for re-stocking purposes. PenguinIN can provide ability to assign tags to visitors at check-in points, track them throughout the facility, issue alerts if needed (e.g. outside permitted paths/zones), and check-out once the trip is completed. PenguinIN makes such data available live on a map and captures historical records for incident verification.


In this blog, we presented a brief list of applications of PenguinIN RTLS technology in retail operations. To learn more about how PenguinIN can be leveraged to serve your retail operation’s needs, please contact us at [email protected] or visit

How can Indoor Positioning and Navigation solutions make a shopper’s life easier?

In this blog post, we share our learnings of challenges experienced by visitors of mega shopping centers in 2018 and how these challenges are shaping the priorities of IT and marketing departments in 2019. Exploring how Indoor Positioning and Navigation solutions make a shopper’s life easier?

With several options in most cities, shoppers today have a choice thus can be pickier about their venue of choice. The experience is what matters most. In-venue experience to retain loyalty and drive foot-traffic are the primary motif. A recently opened mega mall calls for solutions leveraging digital transformation: The poor experience begins with finding the right parking spot, then continues with locating a specific shop with the perfect deal or a friend within a multi floor venue. On top of that, navigating back to the car can be challenging, too.

But there might be some solutions. The following list shows what visitors of a shopping center wish for based on a study by ECE (a leading European shopping center operator in Germany) in 2016:

  • 2/3 of visitors gain information about the shopping center via app or website before visiting.
  • More than 85% of shoppers find arrival services and information on premises as highly relevant for their visit.
  • There is a strong desire for a parking guidance system among visitors.
  • 25% of visitors would like to be navigated by a 3D guidance system, while one of every three people under 40 wish for it.

While value-driven use cases vary by venue type, in shopping malls, Targeted Marketing continues to be the major monetization strategy. Other beneficial solutions are Indoor Wayfinding, Family & Friends Finder as well as Car Finder. For this reason, we want to present these subsequently – among other interesting use cases.


Targeted Marketing

Benefits resulting from curated marketing that is context- and location-aware are twofold: Shoppers can receive personalized promotions or notifications based on their position, previous behavior and interests. On the other hand, retailers can send special offers and coupons when shoppers pass by their store. This results in increased sales for retailers while shoppers feel more engaged and are supported with finding the products they look for.

PenguinIN also offers integration with a comprehensive loyalty program in which users save earned loyalty or reward points for visiting the mall or sharing photos with friends.


Indoor Wayfinding

Shopping Centers can be complicated for visitors to navigate in. An interactive map allows the shopper to know exactly where he is going and how to get there in the fastest and easiest way regardless of floor transitions.


Family & Friends Finder

Maybe shoppers want to browse around the shops on their own and once they feel exhausted, meet up with their friends or family for a coffee. Another interesting use case are concerned parents who want to locate their children on the map in case they wander around. For this reason, PenguinIN’s R&D team developed the Family & Friends Finder.


Example for Targeted Marketing Screen. User can view details or start navigation to Point of Interest of this ad.


Car Finder

For visitors it can be exhausting to locate a vacant parking spot and find their way back to the car, especially during sales or when they face multi-storey car parks. With the Car Finder, the shopper can detect the nearest vacant spot, save the position of his car, navigate to all POIs and back to his car.



Venue and retail operators can locate staff, track their attendance automatically and allow and control access to specific locations in order to improve compliance, efficiency and safety. For example, security staff can be located quickly when there is an alert and their support is needed. PenguinIN also supports asset tracking (e.g. kiosks, POS displays or shopping carts).


This article aimed at pointing out how Indoor Positioning and Navigation solutions make lives as visitors of a shopping center easier and how they can enhance revenue of operators and retailers.

Please comment below and feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or visit our website

Are theme parks really fun?

I have never been a fan of theme parks and cannot think of anything worse than spending thirty minutes in a hot summer day waiting for the thrill of 67-second ride. Can you?

Last summer, I went to Dubai for a 5-day business trip. On my last day and under repeated concierge recommendations, I thought: come on, let’s give it a try. I succumbed to visiting one of the local theme parks and here it was déjà vu all over again with literally 100s of people ahead of me on many of the rides I wanted to try. With only eight hours left before my flight, I had this sense of urgency to ride what I could.

I thought to myself: won’t it be nice if I could figure out which rides had the least wait times or even better booked a time-slot during which I can show up and be shown to the VIP line? I wish if an insider accompanied me to show what the craze is all about. Thus far, I totally understand why others desperately leave the park or don’t even visit.


Long Queue at Hogwarts Express (Source)

Day Dreaming at the Park

Given that even many of the restaurants had long wait times too, I certainly cannot be the only one wishing for a solution. Possibly thru my mobile I can use it to book the ticket and then schedule (yes schedule) the rides ahead of time.

When it is my turn, the app notifies me and even encourages me to try similar rides but with short wait times or suggests numerous nearby restaurants, shows or special events without losing my spot in the queue. These suggestions could even be curated to my preferences based on past behavior or profile.

Main Screen of PenguinIN’s Mobile App

Wake Up Moment

The solution exists! PenguinIN’s mobile-based positioning platform can be used for (hold your breath) Queue Optimization and enables operators to push the boundaries of visitor’s experience by obtaining a bird’s-eye view over both the capacity and the flow of the queues. The less time one spends waiting, the more time they have to spend on rides, browsing gift shops and enjoying restaurants.

Not only does PenguinIN provide visitors with better guidance but it also provides operators the ability to more evenly spread people throughout the theme park. PenguinIN shares expected wait times and live videos of the rides along with status updates on delays or canceled shows or rides. This helps set expectations and reduce frustration.

What’s next?

Are you eager to learn more about PenguinIN’s solutions for Theme Parks? Just follow this link and download our flyer

Indoor Positioning – Smart Building Technology

Occupants and visitors of smart buildings expect sufficient intelligence to support profile-aware interactive services at different locations. This expectation drives the need for sustainable indoor positioning solutions. Venue operators who fall behind in adopting indoor positioning technology are likely to fall short of supporting use cases perceived as an integral part of the smart building era.

Is Indoor Positioning Really Needed?
In many cases, the location requirement may be served well enough by occupancy sensors. However, there are many use cases where accurate indoor positioning is required to (1) better serve the occupants and visitors and (2) develop an in-depth understanding of the traffic and ultimately usage pattern of the building. These use cases drive the need for accurate and sustainable indoor positioning that is owned and potentially monetized by the venue operators themselves. Indoor wayfinding is an example use case applicable in mega venues (e.g. shopping centers) where people will get lost, lose their cars and struggle to find what they are actually looking for.

Read more about PenguinIN Indoor Wayfinding

Is it just Indoor Wayfinding?
Albeit the most obvious, indoor wayfinding is not the only use case built on indoor positioning. Value-driven use cases will vary by venue type:
In hospitals, the return on investment (RoI) of indoor positioning is primarily composed of two use cases: (1) wayfinding to reduce lost appointments and (2) asset tracking to reduce asset loss and time wasted looking for assets.
In airports, the RoI is primarily motivated by the reduction of late passengers causing delayed flight and heavy airline penalties.
In shopping malls, indoor wayfinding and proximity-aware advertising are the key use cases.
For the education sector, driving efficiency thru automated attendance, asset tracking, and even occupant tracking for safety reasons are the most obvious use cases.
Once deployed, indoor positioning platform can further augment the performance of occupancy sensors touted today for many standard smart building use cases as well.



Is the Technology ready?
There are many challenges for delivering an indoor positioning solution including continuously changing environments such as those in open and configurable office spaces and specialized infrastructure that is usually outside the realm of IT department expertise (e.g. various sensors, magnetic field etc.). Moreover, we face a lack of standardized technology and varying KPIs which are driven by the use cases.

However, there are many vendors today providing mature solutions. PenguinIN is one such provider who decided to distinguish itself by providing a turn-key managed indoor positioning solution where location of things is offered as a service. In this model, IT departments will not have to worry about infrastructure setup and maintenance and will offer the technology to internal stakeholders via API and SDKs. Maintenance will include periodic site surveys with calibration performed by our local support teams. This ensures that an accurate and stable position continues to be available long after initial system deployment.

Why not let others do it?
It is very tempting for venue operators to allow the likes of Apple and Google to provide and own the indoor positioning solutions in their venues. They are provided at seemingly no cost and no doubt a ubiquitous solution from Apple or Google may have its benefits particularly for the end user.

However, the issues which linger include those of data ownership, solution monetization, security/ privacy and accuracy KPIs.
Client data is a key asset for venue operators particularly when their marketing department – amongst others – are trying to develop data-driven insights to help with the decision making process. These insights may be offered to venue tenants and others who are interested to sell products and/or services to visitors of this venue.
In addition, venues may be liable especially that they are providing either the infrastructure or the connectivity links to harvest user data. This is particularly true with many jurisdictions mandating privacy regulations. Providing sensitive areas such as airports and hospitals, and any other industry where security is business critical need to prioritize security and privacy. Finally, such solutions may require a complete Wi-Fi and/ or BLE (Bluetooth low energy) infrastructure revamp.

Venues must actively pursue their own enterprise-grade solutions instead of going with Google and Apple for indoor wayfinding. The analogy is too stark with cellular carriers who have built multi-billion-dollar networks in the past and are struggling today to generate revenue while Apple and Google are using these same networks to monetize in innovative ways. Brick-and-mortar venues will suffer a similar fate to cellular carriers if control is relinquished to the likes of Apple and Google.

In an upcoming post, we will discuss the key elements in selecting an indoor positioning solution and introduce some of the KPIs that venue operators should look for before selecting their solution.

Let me know: what do you think about letting Apple or Google in? Do you have any other thoughts?
Please comment below or feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

Floor Detection – A Hard Problem

At a recent venue, I had the opportunity to evaluate several solutions providing real-time indoor 2D positioning on a smartphone-based map. I did feel that the accuracy indeed satisfy many of today’s use cases. However, a KPI that is still far from being satisfied is the ability to correctly and consistently detect the correct floor in a multi-floor venue. This challenge is particularly true in open areas (a.k.a. Open Vertical Cavities).

In such areas, the RF signal is leaking from one floor to another, and an RF transmitter in one’s zenith but two floors up may be closer than a transmitter that is on the same floor but 10s of feet away. Simple proximity techniques simply do not work.

Read more about PenguinIN Indoor Positioning

The PenguinIN team spent a considerable amount working on this problem with extensions of the floor detection problem to also detect the mode of transportation. From the many venues that we have tested, we believe that there is no one solution that fits all. A technique that works in a particular venue may not necessarily work in another. At PenguinIN, we have a slew of techniques that are tried and tested in many venues, and we select the right technique for the right venue, and we continue to periodically test the validity of the chosen techniques at a given venue. This approach has served us well so far. Photo below is showing our PenguinIN app detecting an escalator with the correct direction in one of the regional malls.

We would love to hear your thoughts on floor detection and other RTLS related issues. Please let us know. Also, feel free to share it via email or on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!