Localz Beacon Technology at the Melbourne International Film Festival

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The Melbourne International Film Festival is coming to town and Localz has thought about how proximity services and technology could add to this world-renowned festival.


A new class of technology is revolutionising the world, beacons. Beacons are a small bluetooth low energy based wireless device that have the ability to transmit information to a nearby smartphone which can then, in turn, deliver digital content based on that phones proximity to something or someone that beacon is attached to in the real world.
Using beacon technology, we have envisaged an innovative way to deliver the 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), lets explore.

Interactive experience

In close proximity to one of the festivals many cinemas? It’s time to interact.

When a film fan with the MIFF app on their phone comes within range of a beacon near a particular cinema, a push notification will be sent to the fan showcasing the films that are screening at the venue on the day. The notification will provide a brief synopsis, session times, trailer and links to purchase tickets to the screening.

For sessions with several empty seats remaining, these push notifications can be targeted to provide discounted tickets to app enabled users in close proximity to the cinema just before a screening.

“Hurry, XXXX is about to start. Use this 20% off voucher to enjoy the film that little bit more.”

It’s not just about providing a simple way to purchase tickets for members and app enabled users, but to allow the festival to transform the City of Melbourne.

Imagine you walk past Flinders Street Station and your mobile device recognises where you are, it doesn't bombard you with too much text and information, but prompts you to play a short  video which welcomes you to the home of the festival. It offers you a quick guide and showcases everything the MIFF has an offer for you. Plus it mentions those fun ways to reward yourself with discounted tickets, beverages and snacks, plus gives you the chance to enter competitions.

The interactive experiences will also extend to MIFF cinema partner venues:

ACMI, Astor Theatre, Cameo Belgrave, Cinema Nova, Classic Elsternwick, Imax, Kino Cinemas, Mornington Cinema, Palace Cinemas, Sun Theatre, Village Cinemas Rivoli.

When at these venues a push notification will automatically bring your session tickets up onto your lock screen without you having to search for them and enable you to buy your popcorn and drinks instead of having to queue.

Map your sessions out

MIFF isn't a one cinema festival and you may find yourself running between sessions from one end of Melbourne to the other. For travellers visiting the city exclusively for the Festival it is essential to give them some guidance in direction.

An interactive map feature on the MIFF app will allow users to track their exact location, and also send you alerts and messages when your friends arrive at the next venue. The map will have points of interest mapped out, including trains stations, tramp stops, cafes and restaurants with options and offers to suit movie-goers and, of course, festival cinemas. It will interact with Google Maps and give directions via three methods, walking, public transport or driving.

If walking isn't your main mode of transport during the festival an extra feature on the interactive map would include helpful information on 2014 MIFF sponsors, Metro and Secure Parking. When a user zooms in on a particular street all Metro bus, train and tram spots will be shown with a Metro icon. Clicking on the icon will provide the user with next available service information. For those driving, Secure Parking will also be featured on the app, and clicking on its icon will detail pricing and discounts for MIFF members and ticket holders.

Tickets please

You’re running in to the cinema just in time for that next screening (doesn’t everyone arrive just in time?!) and are trying to find that obscurely named email in your inbox that has your tickets on it.

Rather than cursing and fumbling around your inbox for 5 minutes looking at the wrong email, imagine that your tickets simply appear on your lock screen as you enter the building. Just show the phone to the attendant who scans the message and waves you through. How easy was that - didn’t even need to unlock your phone.

Click & Collect

Waiting in line to purchase a beverage or snack before a film can be quite time consuming. As films don't have a tendency to wait for you to take your seats, it’s important to get in quick and make those purchases early. Or we could just eliminate the waiting all together?

Localz has worked extensively in creating seamless Click & Collect experiences  using micro-location technology including beacons. A user will be able to log onto their app while walking to the venue, view a list of items from the bar and make a purchase, they will then receive a notification with a collection receipt token. The festival enabled application for staff will receive the request for the purchase and begin to prepare the order. Upon arrival to the venue the customer will be able to head straight to the bar show their receipt token and receive the order, eliminating wait times.

For exclusive MIFF members and premium members the service will be even more tailored and exclusive. The designed user app will recognise those who are members and allow them to experience Click & Collect a little differently. Members will be able to select the Click & Collect option, like other festival goers, or they will be able to select a second option, Click & Deliver. This will allow members to take their seat in the cinema and have festival staff deliver orders directly to their seat number. A small but effective way to give back to MIFF members.

Participating restaurants and bars

For most people watching a movie isn't the only stop on a night out, with dining and a couple drinks before or after as well. In order for MIFF to continue to engage with people for the duration of the festival period we need to look at engaging with nearby popular bars and restaurants.

Users of the Festival app will be able to browse and reserve tables at partner venues who have special packages to enable people to eat and still make their movie time. When they arrive at the restaurant, they can order and pay from their phone to save those precious few minutes to make the whole experience stress free.

Exclusive offers and vouchers may be sent to MIFF members as they exit the cinema, helping them to extend the experience while also providing the partner venues with additional value.

MIFF together with Localz

MIFF is an already engaging and exciting festival, not just for Melburnians but also for travellers . Together with Localz technology the potential is there to easily create an even more engaging and rewarding experience. Participation, rewards and new experiences through beacon and location technology could develop a world class unique festival experience in 2015.