Notre Dame Uses Google Nearby for Mobile Tours

Author: Matt Willmore

Nexus Stack With Nearby

Notre Dame is enhancing the ND Mobile app with the addition of Google’s new Nearby Notifications for use in alerting campus visitors about nearby tour stops. Nearby Notifications is an upcoming enhancement to the Android mobile operating system that enables discovery of relevant apps and websites based on your current location, and without requiring an app to be pre-installed.

Nearby is a feature in Android for devices running Android 4.4+ with Google Play Services 9.2+. Nearby allows Android you to discover new, fast ways to get things done when you’re near a supported device or place. Nearby Notifications works using Bluetooth beacons to announce to Android devices that information relevant to the user’s current location is available via an on-screen notification; this message appears when a user wakes their phone from sleep.

Notre Dame is using this new technology to notify campus visitors of tour information about nearby buildings, using beacons from Radius placed across campus at popular destinations including the Basilica, Main Building and LaFortune Student Center. If the notification is tapped, they’ll be taken directly to that tour stop on the mobile web version of the ND Mobile app's at m.nd.edu.

According to a recent economic impact study, the Notre Dame campus hosts 2.5 million visitors annually. Use of Nearby Notifications will enhance the guest experience by enabling visitors to learn about significant campus locations and the history of Notre Dame; guests can also begin a self-guided tour from that location. The tour content was created as part of the winning History of Notre Dame tour in the VisitND Challenge held in Fall 2015, and will provide a unique perspective for campus visitors.

Google announced Nearby at their annual I/O Conference during a session titled Introducing Nearby: Physical proximity within and without apps:

Notre Dame is featured at the 26:00 mark.

For more information on beacons or the ND Mobile app, contact mobileND at mobile@nd.edu.