What is geofencing?
Geofencing has become a popular term and buzzword in recent years that carries with it a variety of applications in many markets. Aside from geofencing being used for marketing purposes and in the business to consumer realm, proper use of geofencing technology can be a prime differentiator for companies looking to provide critical communication services and lifesaving solutions to other organizations.
But let’s back up for a second and define what a geofence actually is…
A geofence is a virtual geographic boundary, defined by GPS or RFID technology, that enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.
So essentially a geofence is just a virtual area that detects whether or not you’re in it (well, your mobile device really, but that’s usually with you). And depending on whether or not you’re in a particular geofence, something can happen.
How geofences apply to critical communication services
Geofencing technology is particularly crucial for critical communication products and services. For instance, safety app companies can use geofencing technology to allow colleges, hospitals, businesses and other organizations to ‘wrap’ their campuses within virtual boundaries. The safety app users within these organizations can then get the emergency assistance they need depending on which geofence they’re in, if any at all (if an app user requires emergency assistance, their location can be sent to local dispatchers and others nearby who can help if the signal activation happened inside of a particular geofence).
So in this instance, geofences are created by each organization to define their physical grounds. This is a practical and expected use of geofencing technology when proper communication between two or more parties could be the difference between life or death.
Agile geofencing helps safety forces find you
What if an organization has many locations that need to be geofenced… or what if they need to create temporary / part-time geofences for recurring use?
This is why geofencing technology requires agility and flexibility… particularly when the geofences are not being directly added by the company providing the technology platform relied upon.
Companies that provide safety apps or any critical communication services should allow their clients the ability to create unlimited geofences to accommodate for various campuses, buildings or other segmented areas that can quickly rise in number for larger organizations.
Managing geofence status is another crucial component of agile geofencing. Clients should have the option to set up a geofence that can easily (with the flip of a switch) be toggled ‘Active’ or ‘Inactive’. The benefits of this flexibility can be far reaching.
An excellent example of this is gameday on college campuses. Geofences need to be drawn around stadiums and popular hangouts where their team's fans will be located during gameday. But these geofences don't need to be active all the time, and who they should notify can change depending on the time of year.
During gameday, emergency calls from inside the stadium geofence can go directly to a specified police outpost within the stadium itself. When tempers could be flaring within a highly condensed, loud and heavily populated area, the necessity of agile geofencing seems obvious. Graduation ceremonies and orientation events are just a couple more examples of how valuable and practical agile geofencing can be in a college setting, but its usefulness is not limited to higher education.
Communities of any size are merely a reflection of the individuals that constitute them, and flexibility in how people are protected within these communities is paramount.
Displaying geofencing functionality on a clean, easy-to-use interface for clients should also be a high priority for critical communication providers. It benefits clients greatly to simply create new, edit existing and manage current geofences seamlessly.
To learn more about the basics of geofencing technology in general, read What is geofencing? Putting location to work
To learn more about how agile geofencing can be effective in your community, visit 911cellular.com