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Beverage Company Uses RTLS to Turn Skaters Into Artists

As part of a campaign to advertise a Russian beer brand, skaters' movements were tracked on a Moscow ice rink, enabling them to create drawings they could display in real time on the rink's large video screen, and share on social media.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 05, 2016

Last month, a marketing campaign for a Russian beer and beverage company allowed skaters to draw pictures by having their movements tracked on an ice rink in Moscow. They could then share those pictures with friends via social media.

The campaign, which took place in Sokolniki Park (in central Moscow), used Quuppa real-time location system (RTLS) hardware, as well as software from New York-based navigation technology company Navigine and software-development firm Mobecan. The deployment, created for Great Advertising Group, was intended to be a fun marketing event for Ochakovo beer that would increase brand recognition by sharing content via social-media networks and YouTube.

Quuppa's Intelligent Locating System tag was attached to the bottoms of 50 ice skates.
Navigine is currently in discussions with a New York City park, as well as several U.S. brands and technology providers, to launch a similar advertising campaign in the United States as soon as later this month.

Navigine is a three-year-old company that offers indoor and outdoor location solutions. "For that, we can use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and ultra-wideband technology, as well as GPS," says Oleg Demidov, Navigine's chief business-development officer. Following research and development work conducted in Moscow, the company opened an office in New York this year to sell its technology. The solution deployed in Sokolniki Park utilized Quuppa's BLE Locators (receivers) and tags (Bluetooth beacons) on skates.

For that installation, Navigine attached Quuppa's Intelligent Locating System tags, which function as Bluetooth beacons, to the soles of skates rented out by the park, according to Alexey Panyov, Navigine's CEO. A total of 50 pairs of skates were tagged in this way, with a single tag attached to one skate in each pair. The sides of the tagged pairs bore a logo for the Ochakovo brand. Around the perimeter of the 50,000-square-foot rink, Navigine installed four Quuppa Locators, which receive the tags' signals and are used to measure the angle of the received transmissions in order to pinpoint the skaters' locations.

Around the perimeter of the 50,000-square-foot rink, Navigine installed four Quuppa Locators.
Mobecan provided a dedicated server on which its software, along with Navigine's software, managed the collected read data. Locator data was forwarded to that server, and the Navigine software determined each skater's location, while Mobecan provided the image that tracked his or her movements in real time. The system displayed that image on a large video screen mounted next to the rink.

When a skater received a pair of tagged skates, the footwear's tag ID number was linked with the telephone number of that person's smartphone in the Mobecan software. She could use her phone's browser to visit a website to view an image representing the skating rink, as well as her position on the rink, as determined by location data culled from the Quuppa Locators. That location data needed to be accurate to within about 2 feet in order to create the picture, Panyov explains. As the individual began skating, the system continued to collect location data, and the path that she followed was displayed in the form of a red line, thereby enabling her to draw a picture or words with her skates. The skater could use her smartphone to erase pictures, stop transmission while changing her location on the rink or cease creating the image.

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