NexRF develops app for resorts, casinos
Imagine walking into a resort with your smartphone as interactive tour guide, informing you of discounts when you cross a clothing store threshold, results of a game when you enter a sports book or tonight’s entertainment options when you stand by a ticket booth. And all of it is personalized to your tastes.
That’s the goal of NexRF, a Reno-based start-up developing a mobile application it calls the Context Aware Relevance Engine.
Based on an individual user profile and technology that allows it to know where a person is located inside a property, the application delivers a continuous and personalized newsfeed about what’s going on inside the resort.
The richer the profile, and the more people using the application, the more personalized the newsfeed becomes for each person.
“We’re helping facilitate a great property experience,” says Mick Kerr, the company’s founder. “And if you like the experience you’ll stay on the property longer.”
In addition, the resort gets data on customer demographics and what promotions and activities work.
“One of the problems, from an analytic perspective, is where people are when they make a call to action. What caused the person to open the app and get content?,” says Kerr. “If you have their location, it adds to the analytics.”
Kerr, a patent attorney, had the idea for what he calls a mobile autonomous dynamic graphical user interface, or madgui, and found Dave Stewart, now NexRF chief technology officer, to start programming it in 2008.
The company now has six patents and a seventh in process on various technical features, including the dynamic GUI and a unique way to create indoor geofencing, the technology that allows the application to know a user has left from a restaurant, for example, and crossed onto the slot machine floor.
NexRF is now testing the application with a ski resort in Lake Tahoe. Kerr says the ideal customer is a resort or casino, which have multiple types of businesses on their property and a captive end-user audience.
Developing the technology has, in some ways, been easier than explaining it, says Kerr.
“It took us awhile to get a point where people understood the problem,” says Kerr. “It’s hard to promote a solution when people don’t understand the problem.”
And the pair will get a chance to convince potential investors when they compete in the LaunchPad at the Global iGaming Summit & Expo and Social Casino Summit next month in San Francisco. They were one of five start-ups selected to pitch their business, which is now bootstrapped, to investors.
“I think with casinos it’s a great market, but you have to align yourself with the right strategic partners and get validation,” says Kerr. “One of the nice things about going to GiGSE is we’ll get that validation.”
Reno-based design firm MBA Architecture and Design is assisting on the $47 million Caesars Entertainment project in downtown Reno.