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Centre MK Beacon System

  • Added: 03/02/16


Milton Keynes has been in the forefront of innovative schemes making this new city technologically and economically ahead of some major cities. We want to see it chugging ahead socially, culturally and ethically too. We want our city to be a magnet not only for investors and new businesses, but also for visitors visiting the city for its wow factor.

Milton Keynes Shopping Centre provides mobility aids for people with mobility issues and attractive buggies for young children. There are hearing induction loops at various locations in the Centre for benefit of the hearing impaired. The Centre offers the whole shopping area on one level to facilitate people with mobility issues. We would like the listed building of the shopping centre to be blind friendly as well.

We believe the Centre MK is in an ideal position to do more. To have a positive impact on Milton Keynes economically, culturally and ethically.

Modern technology has revolutionised life for everyone. We want to use it to create an inclusive society. The system I am proposing would not only provide a navigation aid to the visually impaired, but will also help the retailers in the Centre tap into information on the shopping habits of visitors to the Centre using the Centre MK app on their smart phones. Those without smart phones will be able to benefit from the system with the navigational wrist-bands. This is a win-win situation for all.

A free to download app provided by the Centre MK Management would be compatible with all smart phones and will aid navigation via beacons on all retail outlets in the Centre. The beacons on retail outlets will provide some information on the shops one goes past as well as inform the retailer about the footfall in their shops – a useful marketing tool for retailers.

The Centre MK have provided screens at various locations within the Centre for visitors to browse and find their bearings. These screens should be compatible with the Beacon System and provide information via headphones to the sight impaired.

The Centre provides buggies for children parents can borrow. Navigational wristbands could be similarly hired out to visitors not only to aid navigation, but also provide information on location of amenities within the shopping centre such as cafes, toilets, the nearest taxi rank, bus stops etc. etc. Navigational wrist-bands could help visitors to the shopping centre who do not use smart phones or do not wish to download the app.

Easy navigation, accessible information on amenities would attract shoppers from far and wide translating into a massive boost to the local economy. Increased number of visitors could make cultural events in the hub of the City Centre viable. Transport providers might want to jump on the bandwagon by providing better transport links. Improvements to the transport infrastructure to facilitate increased numbers visiting the City Centre should make this model attractive to investors and developers of shopping centres to copy nationally and internationally.

A proposal for development and implementation of such a comprehensive scheme with all-round benefits would cost more than £5000 offered by the Smart MK Project. However, this funding for the initial stage of the Project could be used for the cost benefits research that might further fine-tune the proposal.

We want the Centre MK to be pride and joy of the citizens of Milton Keynes. One of our long term plans, therefore, is to hold events to promote crowd-funding of the scheme to get local people involved in a truly democratic way.