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245 Beacons Guide Visitors Through Historical Library

Each day, more than 3,000 people visit the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek—the Bavarian State Library—based in Munich, Germany. The building, which has historical significance, is home to 9.81 million books, as well as a number of special-interest reading rooms containing tens of thousands of reference volumes, maps and images related to such topics as Eastern Europe, the Orient and Bavarian culture. It is a grand environment, but one that can be rather tricky to navigate. "Even I, who knows the building quite well, struggle from time to time to try to find, say, the Eastern Europe reading room. It is on the third floor, but can't be reached by the main staircase," says Markus Bokowsky, co-owner of Bokowsky + Laymann. Last month, the Munich-based marketing firm completed an installation of 245 Bluetooth beacons that work in conjunction with a smartphone-based wayfinding and information app called BSB Navigator. "The idea is to help [visitors] find their way more quickly and more comfortably, and without relying on library staff to guide them."

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