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Technology maturation of global first-movers in automated indoor map generation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SmartMap (Technology maturation of global first-movers in automated indoor map generation)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-09-30

All large institutional buildings have challenges with wayfinding due to their increasing size. Today, only a very limited number of building complexes such as university or hospital campuses have easily accessible digital indoor maps and wayfinding. Recent hospital studies have shown that 30% of the problem behind “missed appointments” is related to patients being late because of issues with wayfinding, up to €350mill/year. The same challenge can be found in large public buildings and universities. It is expected that the productivity loss is as high as €540,000/year for a large campus or a mid-sized university due time wasted on wayfinding.

At St. Olav’s University Hospital SmartMap helped reduce the missed appointments by over 30 % through an integration with the hospital’s appointment system. The reduction of missed appointments contributed to €1.5 million in yearly savings as well as shorter patient queues.

Wayfinding is not just an issue of geography and the size of buildings and complexes. Wayfinding supports users and contributes to feelings of ease within an environment, which are crucial in many aspects – both in terms of patient treatments/recovery but also in terms of employee satisfaction, student education and many other factors. Stress and anxiety can be caused by inadequate information, or if already present, this emotive state can cause a lack of focus and the misreading of wayfinding cues. Further, when poor wayfinding occurs, it can reflect negatively on the overall experience of an organisation. In a hospital, the total cost of wayfinding was found to be €376 ($448) per bed and is to a large degree hidden and related to direction giving by others than hospital staff. This means that a 737-bed hospital such as St Olav’s hospital in Trondheim has a yearly cost adjusted by the consumer price index of just above €503,000 ($600,000) for wayfinding. This directly impacts the bottom line and increases administrative and operative costs of all these complex institutions – which are huge issues across Europe and the strained healthcare and educational systems (as mentioned, examples of strains can be seen through the missed appointments that cost €1 billion/year in UK alone and productivity losses that are as high as €540,000/year for a large office campus or a mid-sized university due to time wasted on wayfinding.

Our overall objectives:
- Advancing our current technology to the level ready for large-scale validation (TRL8)
- Real environment piloting and validation enabling for a rapid global commercial launch (TRL9)
- Developing and implementing a refined Business Model, Business Innovation Plan and Commercialisation Plan
Automation: We have worked on moving logic from rule based logic into machine learning models in order to make our system more robust to different quality of drawings. We have created a framework for evaluating the models that both compare performance to the existing models, but also measures impact on manual work. We have also started the effort on a continuous retraining pipeline.

We have worked to identify the market leaders in Facility Management Systems for the university and hospital market, and done integrations with key solution providers.

We have worked on features to enable customers to tailor the automatically produced maps. This has involved making the tools more user friendly, for editing icons and rectifying errors made by systems in recognising rooms, doors and such.

Validation of the entire spectrum of use. We have done mapping of user needs and technical challenges to reduce client acquisition costs, and have also started working on implementing several improvements / new features.

We have developed documentation, tutorials, videos and other training material, which will lead to customers being more self serviced, and less time spent on issues that there already exist a ‘recipe’ for solving.
This includes step-by-step ‘recipes’ describing how to set up or troubleshoot a certain product, and videos showing and telling you how to perform a specific task or how to use a feature.

We have further developed our existing APIs to make them more secure and made improvements to make them more scalable. In addition we have created new APIs.

We have engaged with new partners. In addition we have expanded existing relationships especially with our most important partner.

Marketing strategy and communication plan has been created and Covid-updated.
Compared to the market state of the art alternative solutions, SmartMap offers consistent and accurate maps, wherei) the customer owns the maps and data and ii) is in control of what is visible on the maps, iii) automated map production through integration with FMS systems enables quick map updates when buildings change, avoiding outdated maps and enable customers to have maps up to date without an extensive amount of manual work.

Key societal benefit of our solution lies in the efficiency improvements and cost reductions as a direct result of implementing our product solutions in universities, hospitals and large office buildings. Many studies have shown that due to a lack of indoor maps and inability to way-find or track assets easily, health personnel, patients, students and office workers waste time and are less productive. Calculations made by Deakin University and NTNU have shown that a good indoor map and wayfinding service could increase the efficiency for students and employees across EU in total with €2 billion, while market research for hotels has shown that indoor maps can increase the service level and the revenues of hotels across EU with €5,6 billion.

Climate Change and the Environment: SmartMap is a software product and as such it leaves minimal impact on both the climate and the environment. Software/IT has been shown to contribute only 2% globally to all greenhouse emissions.
The key for a company like ours has been to develop software with highest regard for environmental impacts – for this reason our software/hardware profile has been tested to be 30-40% improved compared to competing technologies. This equates to a total of 2.1t of CO2 being removed from the atmospheric CO2 cycle for every tonne of paper maps and wayfinding brochures we help save - lowering the greenhouse effects considerably.

Since the start of the project MazeMap has received a lot of recognition of its unique way of producing and updating maps, hence in march 2020 MazeMap was named “Cool Vendor” by Gartner and has now been recognized as marked leader by Gartnerfor the largest campuses namely Universities.

Due to Covid-19 and shut down of campuses the growth in customers has been reduced drastically, as can be expected when campuses and offices are closed. As customers are planning to allow their employees and students back on campus we are expecting that interest increases drastically and come back to the same level as prior to Covid-19. With this we expect to be able to deploy our service to a rapid number of customers globally making sure that large universities, hospitals and corporate offices can improve their user experience.

SmartMap has tested and matured the technology for FMS integration with successful delivery of the integration of selected pilot customers. and improved the automation of mapping by approx 25 % since project start.
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