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Indoor Wi-Fi Location and Beacons: Better Together Part 2

wifibeaconLocation-based services have been getting a lot of attention lately and people are increasingly curious about how Wi-Fi and beacons play together in the hot space that is indoor location technology. In my last blog I reviewed how beacons work and how to differentiate when to use Wi-Fi and beacons. There’ve been some great questions about beacon technology and how it complements Cisco’s location-based Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution, so I want to follow up on these topics with everyone.

What types of beacons are there?

Generally, there are two different classes of beacons: transmit only and backhaul enabled.

Transmit only beacons are exactly as they sound -- they simply transmit information to anyone that is capable of hearing (bluetooth enabled smartphones). They do not receive or pass any data or information upstream.

Apple’s iBeacon is the best example of this type of BLE beacon. You can think of them like the navigational beacons used by airplanes when on approach to major airports. The beacon doesn’t even know the plane is there, but the plane is aware of the beacon and knows where the beacon is allowing it to take the correct action. Same is true for smartphones and transmit only beacons like iBeacon -- the intelligence is located in the mobile application which must recognize the beacon and take appropriate action.

Backhaul enabled beacons generally include a Wi-Fi chipset for either management or data capabilities. Some backhaul enabled beacons are USB enabled and take advantage of whatever connectivity exists within the PC they are connected. Read More »

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Modernizing Public Safety Communications

Modernizing Public Safety Communications

Your existing radios and voice system do more, with Cisco IPICS 4.8

If your agency uses Cisco Unified Communications as well as PTT radio communications, you can make both more valuable by adding Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS).Communicate, Collaborate, Operate 3

Hundreds of public safety agencies around the world already use Cisco IPICS to make radio dispatch operations simpler. IPICS improves incident response because personnel can join PTT talk groups using just about any device. That includes land-mobile radios, smartphones, IP phones, PCs and laptops, and even traditional phones.

The newest release, IPICS 4.8, has new features that improve communications, collaboration, and operations. Read More »

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How Internet of Things Is Transforming Public Safety

How Internet of Things Is Transforming Public Safety

Use Case 1: BYOD for Police Officers

The Internet of Things refers to connecting currently unconnected people and things, and it’s transforming public safety. This blog explains how police officers can securely use commercial smartphones and tablets in the field. Future blogs will describe other ways to use the Internet of Things to improve communications, collaboration, and operations.

Police officers are clamoring to use their iPhones, iPads, and Android devices for work. For law-enforcement agencies, allowing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is appealing because it can save money, and mobile apps for law enforcement improve situational awareness.Public Safety

Until now, two things have stopped police departments from allowing BYOD. One is governance. To use smartphones and tablets for incident response, departments need a way to enforce standard operating procedures. Lacking this, the NYPD recently had to remind officers to use radios instead of smartphones for official communications. Here’s the article in the New York Post.

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The Internet of Things Empowers Public Safety: Please Visit Cisco at APCO 2014 Booth 461

 

APCO 2014

Public safety organizations worldwide are increasingly adopting and using secure broadband networks, supporting open standards and multivendor technologies, and using new public safety applications, while adopting new policies for bring your own device (BYOD) using Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets for their personnel.

The rate of adoption is continuing to accelerate because of the next technology trend, called the Internet of Things (IoT), which empowers public safety to make its communities and cities safer. In fact, according to recent research by Cisco Consulting Services, this represents more than $4.6 trillion in Internet of Everything (IoE) value at stake for the public sector.

First Responders

First responders rely on mission critical communications and sensors to fulfill public safety needs, further empowered by the Internet of Things

The IoT is the next technology transition in which devices will allow us to sense and control the physical world by making objects smarter and connecting them through an intelligent network. IoT is about connecting the unconnected.

At APCO, Cisco and partners will demonstrate next-generation public safety solutions based on open standards, secure networks, and Internet of Things technologies and solutions providing important benefits:

  • Enhanced reliability: Cisco’s IP infrastructure keeps the mission-critical network running at the most critical times.
  • Cost savings: Cisco’s software solutions allow less expensive endpoints to communicate with user groups.
  • Improved operations: Agencies can now communicate with voice, video, and data in open collaborative ways.
  • Multiple-vendor solutions: Cisco’s software allows customers to choose between many best-in-class vendors for an entire solution.
  • Solution support: Cisco offers support for the entire system, including third-party components, with a single support call.

We will showcase new solutions for next-generation instant communications using private and public networks that are now available to government and enterprise customers. Cisco’s IoT solutions support public safety, utilities, and industrial customer needs with multivendor, interoperable broadband technologies for mobility: BYOD, bring your own application (BYOA), and bring your own interface (BYOI). Cisco’s technology gives system integrators the ability to connect different systems that unify P25, LTE, and public safety broadband technologies easily and affordably.

In the Cisco booth we will be demonstrating our newest IPICS software solution, which includes a software development kit (SDK) that enables application developers to embed Cisco’s push-to-talk technology into their applications. Cisco will highlight the Quantum Virtualized Packet Core is a software application that routes data over LTE networks.  The Cisco Quantum™ Virtualized Packet Core (QvPC) is one of the industry’s first commercial virtualized evolved packet cores, the new Cisco Quantum Virtualized Packet Core (vPC ) solution redefines the paradigm of agility for service providers.

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Securing Mobile Data: What’s Your Plan?

July 24, 2014 at 7:00 am PST

As a business or technical leader, you know you need to protect your company in a rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem. However, threats are not always obvious. As malware and attacks become more sophisticated over time, business decision makers must work with technical decision makers to navigate security threats in a mobile world.

This blog series, authored by Kathy Trahan, will explore the topic of enterprise mobility security from a situational level and provide insight into what leaders can do now to mitigate risk. To read the first post focused on securing device freedom, click here. The second post, available here, focused on the risks that come with mobile connections. – Bret Hartman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Cisco’s Security Technology Group

The Cisco Visual Networking Index revealed an obvious truth that none of us can deny—mobile data traffic is on the rise and shows no signs of stopping:

  • By 2018, over half of all devices connected to the mobile network will be “smart” devices
  • Tablets will exceed 15 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2016
  • By the end of this year, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2018, there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita

With the explosion in the number of smart mobile devices and employees increasingly taking advantage of BYOD, securing company and personal data in a world where the mobile endpoint is a new perimeter presents technical and legal challenges for organizational leaders.

What are some of the most prevailing challenges? The personal use of company-owned devices happens more frequently than IT may realize and a complex legal environment can leave both employees and IT confused on how personal privacy is being protected. It is important for human resources to weigh in here as well.

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