It could be pretty frustrating entering a facility when you do not know where to ask or not knowing where to go, with no one around to ask. Sometimes, there’s a directory map available. This is often more confusing to find your destination. Today we’re so used to hitting a button on our smartphone to activate a GPS to know exactly where you’re going. For this problem, wayfinding kiosk application is an ideal solution to fix this problem although they’re often very expensive to implement. Recently, MyMedia implemented a Wayfinding solution in the North Toronto Community Center – Carefirst.

As a multi-faceted building from short-term care, daily community programs, and social gatherings, it generates a lot of traffic. Like many facilities, a single person at the Front Desk doesn’t have the manpower always to be available to direct guests to their destination. Wayfinding was a perfect solution for Carefirst. Like many organizations, the budget was still a concern. MyMedia offered a unique wayfinding kiosk application. This platform has a backbone structure that provides the ability to create new projects by uploading flow plans for a new project and leveraging the existing wayfinding kiosk code so that the programming doesn’t have to be done on scratch every single time. This allows the MyMedia wayfinding kiosk developers to complete projects faster and adding greater value to the end user.

Kiosk Hardware

After testing a few different variations, which was an upright 46” touch screen as seen in the picture below. We quickly realized this kiosk was not the most suitable for this location.

Having the right kiosk hardware is essential for the wayfinding kiosk application to be successful at it. One of the main concerns the client had was accessibility. With plenty of seniors in the building, they wanted to make sure reaching the kiosk wouldn’t be an issue.

North Toronto Community Center – digital wayfinding kiosk

digital wayfinding kiosk

Luckily, we found K shaped kiosk with the lower profile which was only approximately 3 ft from the ground. Also, it was at a 45-degree angle which allowed for greater accessibility for most visitors.

Furthermore, this kiosk came with a thermal printer. It allowed us to develop the activity to print the wayfinding kiosk directions for the visitor.

An additional requirement the client had was having a list of daily events and community programs in the facility where the user can quickly select the event and would provide immediate wayfinding kiosk directions to the community room or auditorium.

One of the challenges we had is t client wanted this to be simple. They’ve been using SharePoint for a few years to enter all of their programs. Our developers were successful in grabbing their SharePoint data into the wayfinding kiosk application as events were introduced from their SharePoint calendar, it will populate into the wayfinding kiosk display in the lobby in real time.

We managed to do this by leveraging their SharePoint calendar and pulled the new floor plans is different that it has a platform that allows the user to edit and maintain the wayfinding application similar as to how you would manage your WordPress website. In other words, not everything is hardcoded which allows the end users, that are not programmers, to build and maintain their wayfinding application for their building.

Another requirement was to offer the solution in multiple languages. This facility had a strong Asian community, and they wanted to ensure that each guest was able to use the wayfinding application in their native language. Our wayfinding solution can display the content on the wayfinding kiosk in the desired language the Content Management Editor uses the backend to upload content in multiple different languages. The visitor selects the language of their choice, and the wayfinding kiosk would refresh in the desired language.

A good wayfinding solution has to have a good kiosk that is accessible and easy to use. What’s great about the MyMedia Wayfinding application is that it’s highly applicable.

Carefirst is a non-profit charitable community services agency established since 1976, together with Carefirst Family Health Team (since 2007) and Carefirst Foundation (since 2006). Their mission is to ensure that seniors and others in need of services, living in Toronto and surrounding areas, enjoy a high quality of life in their communities. They strive to maximize their well-being through a range of social, health care, and supportive services planned and delivered through an integrated model of care. They will ensure that a comprehensive range of services is delivered by an effective team of professionals and volunteers on a holistic basis.

Digital wayfinding solutions have evolved over the years since their inception. The future developments of this wayfinding solution will be focused enhance the functionality of our wayfinding application to better server facility visitors.  The features will consist of adding additional features such as:

  • Enhanced Two-Dimensional Mapping
    Three-dimensional mapping
    Mobile wayfinding
    Speech search
    Text to Speech
    Bluetooth Connectivity
    Emergency Notification
    Telephone integration.

We have a vision, that our wayfinding kiosks to be a central information system for almost any facility. Whether it’s used to simply give directions for visitors or provide other Facility Information Services (FIS). In other words, the kiosk as a network device has the potential to be a multipurpose device to server facility visitors. A lot of these ideas are provided by our customers. We want to invite our followers and wayfinding kiosk enthusiasts to extend the discussion on how else we could use central information kiosk help visitors in a facility?