Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Geometri Spins off from GISi
September 4th, 2015 by Susan Smith
Michael Healander, founder of Geometri, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the evolution of that company, and the recent announcement from Geographic Information Services, Inc. (GISi) an Esri Platinum Partner, that its Board of Directors has formally approved the spin-off of its operating unit, GISi Indoors, as an independent company. The new business is named Geometri, LLC., Geometri is the name of their flagship indoor GIS software-as-a-service product.
Healander said he and Lee Lichlyter, CEO of Geometri and former CEO of GISi, are looking for strategic partners in the industry so they can grow faster. Geometri is still part of the GISi family but is now more of a holding company.
GISi was one of ten Esri platinum partners and now Geometri is part of the Esri startup program.
“The reason we got into indoor mapping,” said Healander, “Is we focused on the fact that when you go indoors you lose your navigation on your phone. And there’s a lot of opportunity as people spend money indoors. It’s hard to navigate, and we took on that problem. We built a platform and called it Geometri. We have taken complex pieces of technology to create indoor GPS, whether indoor maps, indoor routing or indoor search. We’ve taking the outdoor routing algorithms that we used in our main company and now we make them for indoor.”
Now you can do multi-floor routing, wheelchair accessibility routing, routing for how to get to class or through the building at the University of Washington. At the same institution, it will route you by selecting “avoid stairs” to support Americans with Disabilities Act.
“It will do geomessaging if customers want to opt in for coupons for example, you have the option,” said Healander. “We use beacon technology to help with indoor positioning or pushing messages when people come near one of these beacons, if it’s next to a product they’re promoting that week. And finally we have a function of these geospatial tools that aggregate data and analyze it and present it to you in operations served up to you through different systems.”
Navigator will give you, the consumer the ability to look for a product in a particular location in the store and route you there.
Asset tracking with indoor GPS allows people to track things, whether it be a Bluetooth beacon on a forklift or cleaner, or products, analyzing foot traffic and how people flow through buildings, and how to generate revenue.
“80% of our revenue is driven by partners, so a lot of people don’t know the name Geometri because a lot of our partners take the technology and white label it,” said Healander. “Then then they take it into verticals, so we’ve become a horizontal company platform, where a lot of companies have repurposed our system. If you go to their websites, like a fleet marketing company with three different names for Toyota, Chevrolet, their entire structure is built off ours. They focus on auto shows, and they’re using geospatial and no one knows about it. So we’ve hid the market, these are non-traditional GIS applications. Peopeflow is another that uses our system out of the box maybe they run all their product off our system.”
Atlanta airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. When people walk into a building their cellphones give off signals and Geometri can triangulate where they are located. They are interested in where the people are flowing.
“I can typically analyze in real time, how many people are getting off the plane,” said Healander, “or are we about to have a bottleneck in security. For every minute people wait in line, they spend one less dollar per minute after 10 minutes, so the wait time is very important to the airport. Above a 20-minute wait time alarms start going off and they get after TSA because they are responsible for that. In airports today, the majority of revenue is coming from concessions and retailers in the airport.”
Geometri is used in three airports – Atlanta, MassPort, and Tampa. The average spend per passenger in the airport is $9. Atlanta has 95 million passengers a year and that’s close to $1 billion in spend. “So with our system alone, just being able to adjust, manage and predict bottlenecks allows them to actually increase revenue to their retailers and concessions,” concluded Healander.
Geometri creates geofences (boundaries) so if you see a red dot moving toward a location, it starts measuring. You can pick a location and look hourly to see how often people come in. “We’re not picking up everyone who comes in, we only pick up those with cellphones on,” said Healander. “We’re picking up true numbers from the airport through their ticketing. We are picking up 45% of the people, and we don’t need to know the exact number. Then I can start to look at wait time.”
Originally the software was built for retailers, and now is used in airports, fleet management and traffic shows as well.
In Atlanta, through a partnership with Apple to provide an app, Geometri has a geofence around the airport. It has indoor GPS for the building.
“When you land, it will tell you what gate you’re going into and what gate you’re flying out of, your walk time,” said Healander. “It will take the data from these analytics and help you with your walk. It may normally 10 minutes but with wait time added in you get a more accurate reading of how long this will take.”
Categories: airports, analytics, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, asset management, Big Data, developers, disaster relief, emergency response, Esri, field GIS, financial services, geospatial, GIS, GISi, Google, iPhone, LBS, lidar, location based sensor fusion, location based services, location intelligence, retail