What is a smart trail?
Smart trails are safer, more enjoyable greenways and trails that transform path signage into interactive, digital experiences. By adding QR codes to physical signage, Liquid Outdoor and Smart Outdoor empower visitors to interact with the signs—and therefore the greenways and trails themselves—in a way never before possible, creating a new standard of both enjoyment and safety.
Smart Outdoor and Liquid Outdoor teamed up with Westchester County (NY) Parks to provide physical signage throughout a 34.6-mile trailway system that encourages visitors to interact by scanning QR codes on the signs with their phones. Visitors find maps and rules of the trails on the physical signage, and when they scan the QR codes they launch a digital experience with even more information that is updated in real time to reflect current conditions.
These signs welcome users and provide rules of enjoyment, trail maps, safety features and emergency information, including a trail finder with exact locations.
Scanning the code launches a Blue Bite-powered dynamic digital experience complete with information specific to the user and their exact location. This creates personalized, informative digital experiences, and also adds an additional layer of safety to the trails.
Because the signage and digital experiences include GPS locations and 911 emergency information, they can be used to locate visitors in need of assistance. All mile markers in the Westchester County system were uploaded into the county Computer-Aided Dispatch 911 emergency services system.
Just two weeks after installation, the new mile references had been used twice to give location information to emergency responders in Westchester County: once for a medical emergency and once for a police incident.
Digital experiences empower trail visitors to fully orient themselves with their surroundings, moving far beyond the familiar “You Are Here” indicator.
This makes it easy for visitors to not only identify where they are, but also where they are headed. More than that, because messaging can be updated in real time, Westchester County has the ability to let visitors know about current trail conditions, any trail alterations such as detours, and much more.
While information is easily updated in the Dashboard, Blue Bite-powered digital experiences also incorporate context-based information that inherently provides a users with a personalized experience.
For example, Westchester County displays the current weather conditions to each visitor that scans a QR code. The weather is automatically configured to the location where the scan takes place, providing additional information that can inform visitors if rough weather is expected in the future.
The digital experiences can also be used to give visitors information about points of interest and businesses near the trail. When visitors continue to interact with the experience beyond the initial scan—which they often do—this gives the perfect opportunity to tell them where the nearest restaurant is for them to stop as part of their exploration. Nearby landmarks, shops, bars and much more can be promoted in the same way.
Additionally, local businesses have the ability to sponsor trails and advertise on both on the signage and within the experience, providing highly localized awareness.
Westchester County turned their beautiful trailway system into smart trails that offer a more enjoyable, safer getaway with digital experiences that engage visitors like never before.