weBeacon at Wikimania 2014

Last week, Wikimania Festival 2014 saw over 2000 hacks, editors, contributors, friends and fans from all over the world come together at the Barbican Centre for a two-day hackathon, and three days of talks and workshops.

With over 200 talks and workshops conducted simultaneously in 12 rooms throughout the Barbican, any last minute agenda changes had to be communicated immediately (and quietly) to all delegates. The Barbican is also a sprawling complex, and unless you know your way around, you are likely to get lost very quickly!

To address these key issues, we created weBeacon, an application that provided live agenda updates and way-finding to the relevant presentation room. Just another app? No. This solution was different because the content was triggered independently to each user based on the user’s location, enabled by a network of bluetooth beacons placed throughout the event venue. The specificity of bluetooth beacons means that you only get content that is relevant to where you are, within a very specific geographic radius.

Also included in this app was a special tour of the historic and architecturally significant Barbican Estate. It was like a treasure hunt, where the beacons trigger content of the current spot, and gives directions to the next destination of the tour. A nice way to take a break if you’ve been in a windowless room for three hours.

In collaboration with Eva Pascoe (www.TheRetailPractice.com)

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