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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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Indoor WiFi Location and Beacons: Better Together

wifibeaconIn just two years, indoor location technology has taken off and attracted a lot of buzz across industries, from retailers to healthcare. But it’s no longer a conversation about just Wi-Fi – the introduction of beacon devices, including iBeacon, has added a new dimension to location technology for IT and their line of business counterparts to grapple with on how to leverage it to better reach their customer base.

Some customers have been asking about beacon technology and how it fits in with Wi-Fi, so let’s start from the beginning:

How do beacons work?

Beacons are sensors that send out Bluetooth low energy (BLE) tracking tags.  These sensors can be placed around a venue, such as a store, and a mobile device can pick up the BLE signal and determine that it is in close proximity. When a mobile app is built off of this technology, it can be used in interesting ways to interact with the end user, such as notifying a customer of a promotion for an item they are close to.

I’m having trouble differentiating Wi-Fi and beacons. What do I need to know? Read More »

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Connected Guests: Connected Mobile Experiences for Hospitality

Imagine this travel experience: You enter your hotel, and your mobile app buzzes to welcome you back and offers you free Wi-Fi within the lobby area. The app informs you you’re now in line for check-in with a 3 minute wait – your latte is being made in the waiting lounge, and the receptionist will come directly to you. After you check-in, the app launches a map of the property, highlighting all of the hotel’s amenities. As you walk to your room, personalized dining and spa promotions appear – they can be used anytime during your stay.

Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences solution can enable hospitality organizations to use Wi-Fi location services to engage and retain always-connected mobile guests by providing them with highly personalized content and experiences.

Hospitality venues can also use the Wi-Fi network to augment the guest and conference experience to build loyalty and boost sales with location-based information integrated into mobile applications.

Watch our 35 minute webcast (Available On Demand) to learn about the Wi-Fi technology behind the solution and strategies for how to create connected mobile experiences to engage your guests. Read More »

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On Demand: Boost Revenue, Build Loyalty in Your Retail Venue

Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences is a new solution that helps enable retail organizations to use Wi-Fi location services to deliver engaging store experiences and generate valuable shopper insights. Our industry-specific webinars so far break down use cases for Connected Mobile Experiences for airports/transportation and retail..with  more coming soon.

Our latest CMX webinar on demand is specific for retailers: “Boost Revenue, Build Loyalty.”

View this 45-minute on-demand video webcast to learn how to captivate your shoppers with new mobile apps supported by Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences. Discover how real-time location intelligence from your wireless network can enhance customer loyalty, improve store operations, and help you:

  • Deliver a personalized in-store shopping experience that increases customer intimacy
  • Provide important information at critical purchase decision points Read More »

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Special Guest Post: Observations from Geneva Airport Passenger Terminal Expo – Part 2

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is a continuation of Brendan’s from Tuesday on my observations from the Geneva Airport Passenger Terminal Expo.

One of the things that strikes me here at the Air Passenger Expo is the proliferation of companies offering some type of passenger flow monitoring solutions. These vary from small startups to large players, and the offerings are a mixture of many technologies: video, cameras, bluetooth, and various types of sensors. The problem most are solving is point-based monitoring, such as how many passengers in the line, how many people are entering, or what is the current wait time in security – all very valuable point information for the Airports to make sure they’re staffed properly and passengers have the best experience.

Read More »

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