Technology Forward: Hewlett Packard Enterprise helps build tech framework at The Henry Ford
(Dearborn, Mich., August 13, 2019) — The Henry Ford team was invited by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and its mobility division, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to visit its Palo Alto, California, offices and Levi’s Stadium, where the San Francisco 49ers play football. The purpose: to introduce The Henry Ford to some of HPE’s technology solutions and provide an insider’s look at how Levi’s Stadium’s integrated wireless network enhances the fan experience.
“The Henry Ford understands that, as a history destination, they have to look for ways to make their visitors’ experiences stand apart from the competition,” said Tom Harmon, HPE’s account executive for Ford Motor Company. “They took the tour of Levi’s Stadium and saw what’s possible when you use a smartphone — something everyone has — to build a more custom, personalized visitor experience.”
That visit to California eventually resulted in HPE making an in-kind gift of technology to The Henry Ford. “As The Henry Ford continues to move forward to create the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, they need to balance being tech savvy with the unique coolness of such a historic space,” said Harmon. “We were happy to partner with them and help create a platform that will make so many more types of visitor experiences possible.”
Thanks to HPE’s generous donation, new Wi-Fi for the museum went live in October 2017. The new Aruba wireless network blankets the museum floor with enough capacity to handle 6,000 guests connected simultaneously. The network also provides additional functionality to guests and the business, beyond simple internet access. “We can now provide analytical data to help us determine patterns in guest behavior,” added Kevin Cubberly, director of information technology at The Henry Ford. “This will assist in our decision-making in marketing and visitor experience design, among other things.”
Other phases of the project include the deployment of more than 600 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons throughout the museum. This phase will be the backbone for new digital experiences on the museum floor in 2019 as well as a mobile app currently in development that will deliver exclusive content to members and guests, such as audio tours, wayfinding, augmented reality and more.