Innovation 3.0: Internet of Things

We want to make waiting in lines a thing of the past

Have you ever waited in line at Burger’s Priest? We have. Once in a while we take a risk by going to the popular Toronto burger joint during lunch time, not knowing what kind of line we’ll be facing. As you can imagine, the possibility of a wait that can be anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour poses a problem if there’s an after-lunch meeting. And so as we stood in line one Wednesday, lamenting the wait and wondering if it really was worth it after all, we began to problem solve. “What if there was a way to estimate how long we’d have to wait?” we asked. And so the beginning of our innovation project was born.

Waiting has always been a large part of our lives, draining one of our most precious resources: time. Studies show that Americans spend nearly 37 billion hours in their collective lifetime waiting in line. This averages out to be a huge time sink for consumers and service providers alike, a problem we’re eager to solve.

After pinpointing the challenge, the next step was figuring out how to solve it. We figured that we needed a way to track every day lines in a way that is non-intrusive, private and streamlined.This is where the Internet of Things came into play.

For those who don’t know, the Internet of Things consists of “smart devices” that speak to each other or transfer data to the (sometimes elusive) cloud. The definition of the Internet of Things is still pretty vague, not just because it’s relatively new but because it can apply to a multitude of technologies, devices, and functions. When it comes to logistics planning, we can leverage the Internet of Things to understand and analyze processes and flows and in turn optimize any given business.

And our innovation project does just that.

Using “smart objects,” our innovation team has designed a way to anonymously track people waiting in lines. How? People are fluid, whereas objects are stationary. People in lines flow past stationary objects. With the the Internet of Things, our solution is that simple.

Information about lines – like when and where they end and flow – is invaluable when it comes to customer experience, so in the next few weeks, we’ll be revealing how our innovation project can benefit a variety of industries and their respective consumers.

Our team is excited to work on this project, and we know others will be just as excited when they see it. And of course…we’ll be celebrating our win with Burger’s Priest.