General Business

Enterprise Wi-Fi Trends – Recapping 2016

By January 22, 2017 No Comments

There’s never a dull year in tech, and 2016 was no exception. Enterprises are harnessing the power of Wi-Fi to overhaul their relationships with their customers, especially in areas such as healthcare, education, conferences and sports venues.

Senior Healthcare

Innovations in IP communications have empowered both healthcare providers and their clients. With the advent of wearables, IoT devices such as remote patient monitoring and the popularization of mobile health apps, healthcare is becoming smarter. Telemedicine alone is now able to reduce emergency visits by senior residents by 28%, resulting in potential savings of more than US$ 100 billion to the US healthcare system by 2020 [1].

Healthcare providers are using videos for consultations, mobile medical devices for routine tests and can track patients’ progress via their electronic health records (EHRs).

Additionally, with IoT-enabled sensors, fall detection and wander management in seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can easily be checked.

Wi-Fi enabled technology is a boon for healthcare providers too. Nurses use mobile solutions to access health information from any location and at any time. Unified communication offers real-time information on the availability of doctors and caregivers and suggests the best way to reach them. VoIP over a wireless LAN provides easy internal calling to large organizations such as hospitals and senior living or care facilities.

Education: K-12 and Higher

With a school-wide wireless infrastructure that is robust, scalable, secure and Big Data-friendly, schools can create better teaching aids that are in sync with students whose lives are marked with constant “connectedness.”

Bring your own device (BYOD), ubiquitous wearable devices and mobiles make it easy for schools to upgrade to “smarter” education. Blended learning makes it possible to integrate classroom instruction with online content, while flipped classrooms allow individual students to view videos of classrooms lectures or video-based tutorials at home, before or after the actual in-class instruction. Augmented reality and gamification are other trends that showed promise last year. With access to high-speed data and interactive devices, educational apps open up a world of experiential learning, making learning a richer, more sensory experience. The overall impact on students is that they are able to learn at their own pace. Teachers are able to track everything from students’ attendance to their individual progress.

Travel and Airports

There are now travel apps galore that provide real time information- just checking flight status is passé. One can now access everything from finding directions to the destination to checking the weather before arriving, from help in exchanging currency to translating in a foreign land to making hotel bookings to finding one’s way around. Travel and social media are now joined at the hip, with airlines and service providers using it to promote themselves and give information and travelers using it to review and post suggestions.

Every bit of useful information is available at your fingertips, all courtesy of a fast and reliable Wi-Fi signal.

Convention Centers

According to the 2016 Center of Exhibition Industry Research[2], attendees carry an average of 1.5 mobile devices; 73% carry smartphones, 37% carry laptops and 32% carry tablets.

Convention centers are adding various Wi-Fi enabled services to enhance overall customer experience. Event-specific mobile apps help attendees find their way, register, network with each other and so on. Digital signage and kiosks are used to direct traffic and for monetization through advertising. Exhibitors have come to rely on multimedia and cloud applications to engage with attendees. Augmented reality, video conferencing and collaboration, live 360 content recording and virtual meetings are some of the other ways in which technology has transformed meetings. In fact, internet connectivity now stretches beyond the meeting hall with seamless Wi-Fi access at nearby hotels, airport, restaurants and so on.

Convention center managers are also able to produce tremendous operational cost savings by monitoring foot traffic flow and with smart building management.

Stadiums

Any sports fan will vouch for the benefits of Wi-Fi technology in stadiums, from simple seat finders at the start of the game to finding less-crowded food stands and restrooms in the break; the humble mobile phone packs a punch. With beacons, stadiums offer different promotions and loyalty programs to fans alongside the usual lure of buying merchandise.

Access to secure, fast and uninterrupted Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury but a necessity that needs to be addressed urgently to keep in step with the rapidly digitizing world.

[1] http://www.healthitoutcomes.com/doc/mhealth-billion- savings-potential- 0001

[2] CEIR 2016 Digital Toolkit to Enhance the Attendee Experience

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