Data is the future for WeWork. Last February, the office-rental giant purchased Euclid, a “service that tracks smartphones in retail spaces,” according to Bloomberg. Besides purchasing a company that collects users’ phone information over WiFi, WeWork is also testing thermal and motion detectors, as well as Bluetooth check-ins.
All of this helps WeWork keep track of how people “intend” to use a space versus how they “actually use it,” according to Shiva Rajaraman, WeWork’s chief product officer, in Bloomberg.
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Techcrunch explained how Euclid worked in a post:
“Traditionally, retailers have used everything from basic door clickers to optical solutions like beams above a door or video cameras to track their customers’ comings and goings. But Euclid had a different idea – it could passively detect customers’ smartphones with Wi-Fi enabled and collect their phones’ MAC addresses… This allows the business to track how many people walk by a store, enter, how long they stay, and more. “We’ve been very focused on providing Google Analytics for the real world, where instead of the clickstream, you get the footstream,” says Euclid CEO Will Smith.”
For now, the company is testing these tools not at their coworking spaces but on their own employees.
The thermal sensors, for example, could be used to help a company gauge whether or not they need extra conference space or not based on how full existing conference space is.
Of course, with all that data in the hands of one company, privacy advocates are concerned. And Euclid, the new smartphone-tracking service WeWork purchased, has run into privacy problems in the past. At least one business has stopped using it after customers claimed it was invasive – like Philz Coffee in San Francisco did five years ago.
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