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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

Once the skater was finished with her drawing, she could post the image on Facebook, or on Vkontakte, a European social-media network. The image of her drawing also included the Ochakovo beer logo, and could be displayed on the rink's large video screen. Skaters could opt to have their drawings displayed on the screen in real time, even while they were still in the process of skating. In that way, they and park visitors could watch the drawing in action.

During the two-week campaign, Panyov reports, hundreds of individuals used the system, about 50 of whom shared their drawings on social media. However, the main source of advertising was YouTube. Great Advertising took a video of the system in use by a variety of users, and posted the result on YouTube, where it that has garnered more than one million hits to date.

The movements of each participating skater were converted into an image that could be displayed in real time on a large video screen mounted next to the rink.
At present, Panyov says, Navigine is in discussions with Great Advertising about launching similar ad campaigns for other brands. In the meantime, Navigine is meeting with several advertising companies, brands and retailers, as well as technology providers, regarding U.S.-based solutions. In addition to the unnamed New York City park, for which several brands are considering advertising, some retailers and shopping malls are contemplating using the technology to bring content to shoppers based on their location, he adds.

The system was installed within a very short timeframe, and had to be robust enough to operate in Moscow's notoriously cold weather. Panyov says the company sought hardware that could operate under windy, snowy and frigid conditions, with temperatures around -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit).

Navigine's Oleg Demidov (left) and Alexey Panyov in New York City's Time Square.
Navigine's engineers took a train to Quuppa's facility in Helsinki and picked up the beacon tags and Locators, then installed the hardware themselves. "We try to make tools for easy deployment," explains Fabio Belloni, one of Quuppa's cofounders and the company's chief customer officer. The Navigine's deployment, he says, illustrates how flexible Quuppa's technology can be, making it possible for systems integrators and users to be innovative. "They are using location data to build an experience," he states. "Finally, people are putting themselves out of the box. We think of ourselves as enablers for innovation."

According to Belloni, the Quuppa technology can be easily installed. The company's QPE software asks what kind of environment is being used, the number of Locators being deployed and the height of objects being tracked, and enables a user to import a map. The QPE software measures the angles of the beacons' transmissions as received by the Locators, and that information can be forwarded to a systems integrator's own software (for the Ochakovo campaign, that would be Navigine's and Mobecan's software).

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