Co-author Devang Bhatt – Product Manager WNBU

You already know how awesome the Cisco Aironet Access Points (AP) are. But what if there was some way to make them even better with more intent-based networking? Imagine bringing the newest generation, virtual BLE, IoT technologies into the mix and future-proofing your wireless network somehow?

Today’s your lucky day, as Cisco announces two new solutions that will bring added value to your Cisco Aironet Access Points-deployed wireless network.

The two products are:

  • Aironet Developer Platform, a third-party developer platform for Aironet APs
  • Beacon Point Module, a vBLE product for Aironet 3800 Series APs

Aironet Developer Platform

The Aironet Developer Platform (ADP) is a programmable application development platform that’s designed for quick prototyping and on-boarding to Cisco DevNet and its marketplace. Paired with the Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Point, the developer platform allows you to develop third-party applications and technology that you can place on a generic Aironet 3800 module for internal use or commercialization through DevNet. Or to put it another way; if you can imagine it, you can do it.

Thanks to applications that you design yourself, or ones that come from a third-party, your wireless network is poised to be a more powerful tool by leveraging the AP itself to host third-party application or technology. No longer a device that just provides cutting-edge Wi-Fi, your access point is now a development platform. Whether it’s creating applications that allow you to interact with customers on a more granular level, or real-time monitoring of product inventory in a warehouse, there are thousands of uses for the ADP framework that can be tailored to a customer’s wishes.

From IoT to healthcare to retail, there are many use cases being developed with the ADP. In one potential retail use case, a partner can leverage ADP to develop an application that dynamically changes product prices in stores via a centralized server. This saves retailers both time and money as workers no longer have to spend time walking up and down long aisles and changing individual price tags. The price change application can be detailed enough so that the prices of specific items will be updated. That means these prices can be raised or lowered via a few clicks whenever a sale is occurring. Also, by utilizing the existing Cisco infrastructure, a dedicated Ethernet drop for this solution is not necessary.

So, you can put that pricing gun right back in its holster.

Not only that but ADP addresses the challenges of mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) convergence. The explosive growth in IoT-based devices has amplified the need for a converged wireless connectivity solution. With ADP, you now have the framework to deliver intent-based networking at the edge.

Cisco won’t let you go this alone. When you start developing on the ADP framework, you are able to take advantage of the DevNet community. This is a space where you can sandbox ideas, get additional inspiration and answers to programming questions.

Beacon Point Module

The Beacon Point module uses this modular Aironet approach to more cost-effectively deliver virtual BLE beacons. The new module joins our Cisco Virtual Beacon Solution announced last year. The original Beacon Point is a standalone appliance that works in conjunction with our Beacon Center to deploy and manage virtual BLE beacons. The new module provides the same capabilities but does so without requiring a separate Ethernet cable pull. Simply connect and wrap the module around the perimeter of an Aironet 3800.

For more information about the Cisco Virtual Beacon Solution, including the benefits of virtual vs. physical beacons, visit here.

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Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing