When PwC’s Connected Solutions team set out to improve safety in the workplace for hotel staff, it developed an Internet of Things (IoT)-based solution that’s highly innovative, secure, scalable and cost-effective. The platform is now tackling a host of challenges in other industries, from COVID-19 contact tracing to energy monitoring. That’s why the PwC US team behind the Connected Solutions Indoor Geolocation Platform are a Global Innovation Challenge finalist.
Companies across all industries spend millions of dollars annually in staff time locating equipment and people across their premises and operations. While businesses have become more digital, they still rely on real-world, three-dimensional people, equipment and products to make them tick. But traditional solutions to help keep track of these human and physical assets often rely on unwieldy beacons and radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems, making them costly to implement and complex to integrate with existing systems. A simpler way was needed.
Keeping staff safe and building trust is a critical part of any workplace. Now technology is playing it’s part.
PwC’s Connected Solutions team was asked by a major hospitality brand to develop a solution to help hotels comply with regulations that mandated lone workers, like housekeepers, have a mechanism to quickly locate them in case of an emergency. PwC’s Connected Solutions team is dedicated to developing and deploying innovative IoT solutions and devised the patented Indoor Geolocation Platform to meet the industry’s requirements. Hundreds of hotel housekeepers were interviewed to help design the look and feel of the end-user badge-like device, which is activated by an unobtrusive “rapid response” button.
How does it work? Unlike other IoT location solutions, the Indoor Geolocation Platform operates without dedicated beacons through a low-power wide-area network. A proprietary scanning tool takes a “picture” of the WiFi and Bluetooth signals in a room, in effect establishing a 3D “virtual map” of the building. Staffers’ badges, when activated, instantly locate their precise coordinates within that map – down to the specific floor, hallway, room, or even outdoors.
The patented solution has been deployed across several other industries. This can be deployed as a standalone solution, but more importantly , it is a platform that supports over 40 other IoT use cases.
You can find out more here.
The Indoor Geolocation Platform now supports staff and hotel management from boutique hotels to resort complexes. Currently, it is deployed in more than 60,000 rooms with over 10,000 devices and counting. Clients are readily grasping the potential of the Indoor Geolocation Platform: "I wanted to thank you for an extraordinary effort. You were persevering partners in working through issues and triumphed behind the scenes, planning, executing to get our hotels prepared. A very impressive and truly remarkable effort!" - A hospitality client
The platform’s scalability also makes it versatile for other applications in the IoT world – ranging from monitoring temperature, utility usage, soil condition, and myriad other metrics. PwC US has already adapted the platform into Check-In, a COVID-19 contact-tracing solution adopted by 50 clients so far.
Commenting on the Check-In contact tracing app, WIRED wrote, ‘PwC’s approach involves mapping the radio signature of an office so that an app on employees’ phones can record where they are more accurately than GPS or Bluetooth.’
You can find out more here.
‘Becoming a connected organisation can help unlock value. By graduating from connected devices to connected solutions, we are unlocking the true potential of IoT.’
Vicki Huff Eckert
Global New Ventures & Innovation,
TMT Vice Chair, PwC United States
Tel: +1 408 817 4136
Connected Solutions Lead, Principal, PwC US