Campus data and student recruitment

Kamal Kopparapu, Campus planning and Design Coordinator for UC, is very familiar with traditional wayfinding process and decided 2017 was time for a change.

Joining Stephen Minning, CEO of PAM and BrandCulture, on stage at TEMC Kamal explained:

“I was looking for a solution that could manage my physical and digital wayfinding using a single platform.”

To begin the search he looked to other universities for inspiration and arrived at Frost*Design and their feature element for the University of Technology Sydney. Their distinctive 4.5m bright yellow totems dotted across campus boasted live data feeds, external grade screens, security cameras, wifi access, NFC, help points and a QR code. All of these technologies were created for the same values as Kamal was driven by – the student experience. The totems themselves acted as a stopping point and were capable of a digital handshake that allows students to walk away with the wayfinding on handheld devices.

The UTS case

Driven through empowering students and visitors to connect with the space, UTS is a clear example of an accessible campus. They had used the information stored in PAM to built a digital ecosystem to manage the physical and digital signs. UTS went one step further and used this to deliver text to speech translation, foreign languages and personal wayfinding.

Kamal’s Technology wishlist

From the journey Kamal had been on he decided on three must-haves:

  1. Digital directories – one signage ecosystem for all signage across multiple locations.
  2. Wayfinding apps and dynamic maps – Georeferencing and beacon technologies  
  3. Real-time data analysis – the end goal. Leverage analytic technologies to understand user behaviour  

The UC project

With clear goals in sight – Kamal and PAM set out to design, implement and develop a smart campus. Initial stages have seen the development of a digital assistance kiosk where students can view their campus maps and search the directory. From this same point, they can engage with campus events and understand contact details for emergency use.

Data and the student experience 

Kamal utilized the knowledge maintained in PAM to develop a tablet and digital display system for students to engage with. These systems would simplify searches by building and campus while digital directories would provide an overview for wider use. With these systems in place, UC can map their students’ wayfinding experience as shown below.

The future of wayfinding at UC

With all of their wayfinding history and information stored and maintained in PAM, the campus is future proofed. Like all universities, UC faces various changes of infrastructure, terminology, and staffing. Everything from a new building to a staff or faculty name change is now at the tip of Kamal’s fingertips.

Find out how you can create, design and maintain a smart campus from your desk here.

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