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By 2016, more than 10 billion connected devices will populate our planet. According to data from the Cisco Visual Networking Index, mobile connection speeds and data use are anticipated to rise with this influx of smartphones, tablets and laptop computers.

Many mobile device users are constantly connected, using their smartphones to search for information at work as well as during their leisure time. Outside the office space, Cisco is working with enterprises, service providers, mobile software partners and mobile app developers to deliver a Connected Mobile Experience to end-users. As consumers tote their mobile devices into malls, airports, hotels, and other venues around the world, businesses see new opportunities to improve and personalize the consumer experience, generate new revenue streams and enhance business operations.

Location-based services are getting a lot of hype, and we’re seeing a movement of organizations that are beginning to view these services as a business platform. These businesses are looking for location-based services that provide new ways to interact with the current 6 billion mobile device users worldwide, 19% of which are already using location-based services, according to the Pew Research Center. Consider mobile mapping services when you enter an indoor venue. The GPS capabilities are not as effective as when in an outside environment – they cannot pinpoint a mobile connection or understand an indoor environment. This presents an opportunity to develop a solution that connects businesses to mobile consumers who are actively using location-based services. In collaboration with Qualcomm for indoor-location capabilities, Meridian for their mobile app technology, together with Cisco’s context-aware location solution with real-time analytics, indoor venues now have the means to target their consumers in real-time.

Wi-Fi is Transforming into a Platform for Business and Service Innovation

With Cisco’s heritage in wireless network infrastructure and its new contextual aware location data analytics platform, businesses can better understand what is happening inside any given location.

Using mobile device users’ anonymous data, collected over the Wi-Fi network, consumers who visit venues and opt-in can receive instant notifications, such as discounts or special deals, specific and relevant to them. This powerful data, such as the time of day consumers enter a venue, how long they stay and in which specific locations, or the number of times they’ve entered the venue, allows businesses to ensure the appropriate level of staff is on-hand during high volume times, improve consumer inquiry response times, adjust venue layouts, create more targeted advertising, and deliver personalized services to consumers on their mobile devices.

Previously, enterprise IT departments had to spend weeks manually integrating the venue’s Wi-Fi infrastructure to a mobile app, in order to truly connect the consumer. With mobile software company, Meridian, and other partner companies ,Cisco offers a product that makes integrating Wi-Fi and a mobile app as quick and easy as checking a box. This overall solution is built on top of the recently announced Unified Access solution for enterprise customers and our Cisco Small Cells solution for service provider customers.

Improving the Visitor Experience

Fernbank Natural History Museum provides an example of the possibilities unlocked when customers connect with a venue through their mobile devices. The museum partnered with Cisco and AT&T, the network owner and service provider, as well as Meridian for the mobile application technology. Using the mobile app that was created, visitors can explore the museum as paleontologists, with interactive audio, video, sketchbook logs and other features tailored to the visitor’s exact location in the museum. While visitors benefit from the increased interactivity touring exhibits, the museum discovers new marketing opportunities, using location data analytics to increase business efficiencies. Our partnership with Meridian helped scale this technology through the use of an SDK to the broader applications community, making it possible to implement a complex project of this magnitude in months, rather than years, and at a fraction of the cost.

Take a tour through the Fernbank Natural History Museum to see how our technology is used to transform the visitor experience:

AT&T and Cisco Bring the Past to Life at Fernbank Museum

This application applies to other vertical markets, such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, transportation, and other industries. Another example is how the Copenhagen Airport has created a less stressful airport environment.

Improving the Traveler Experience

Using Cisco’s context-aware indoor location-data analytics, Copenhagen Airport aggregates data intelligence to optimize its airport operations. Copenhagen Airport has saved time and reduced costs by tracking incoming passenger movements throughout crowded terminals, to improve security and other staffing needs. Efficiently moving through customs and clearance points, passengers’ time in the airport has been reduced and the experience is less stressful.

Increasing Airport Efficiencies with Cisco Wi-Fi

These examples show that businesses can answer customer demand, improve customer loyalty and increase revenue streams by providing context-relevant, personalized services and seamless Wi-Fi access. Answering the need for these location-based solutions, Cisco enterprise and service provider mobility, together with application developers, provide customers and consumers a better, connected experience.

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