New Cisco Solution Helps Service Providers and Enterprises Deliver Exciting, Profitable Mobile Experiences with Advanced Location-Based Wi-Fi Technology
November 2012 by Marc Jacob
As more Wi-Fi networks are deployed in airports, retail stores, hotels, hospitals, universities and other public venues, to meet the needs of the growing number of connected consumers, Cisco today introduced its advanced Wi-Fi location data analytics platform to help businesses enhance the customer experiences and create new monetization opportunities.
Cisco is providing AT&T and its customer, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, with a mobile next-generation Internet solution, which delivers personalized applications and rich, new experiences to visitors on their mobile devices. Additionally, Copenhagen Airport has also deployed Cisco’s new context aware location data analytics to help improve operational efficiency, make smarter business decisions and provide a better travel experience for its passengers.
These organizations are early adopters of Cisco’s contextual data analytics technology, which is embedded in their Wi-Fi networks to create new business opportunities, enhance customers’ experiences, and streamline business operations. Building on Cisco’s recent acquisition of ThinkSmart Technologies and the new location services and analytic features included in Cisco’s Mobility Services Engine (MSE), part of the company’s Unified Access solution, Cisco is committed to providing an intelligent network for retail, travel, hospitality, healthcare, education and other industries.
Mobile business opportunities are on the rise, as evidenced by the Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, which predicts that by 2016 there will be nearly 18.9 billion mobile connections. Wi-Fi-enabled devices are expected to grow at 300 percent through 2015 to two billion globally, according to ABI Research. Wi-Fi traffic is also expected to grow at a 34 percent rate through 2016, when it accounts for half of total Internet Protocol (IP) traffic, ABI Research predicts. This growth, combined with the majority of indoor data usage, is leading to a new set of user expectations for better experiences over a Wi-Fi network.
Innovative Mobile Customer Experiences Enabled by Cisco and its Wi-Fi Ecosystem Partners
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Ga., is a pioneer in using technology to advance educational opportunities, focusing on creating innovative, enlightening experiences that showcase the wonders of the natural world. As part of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the museum, AT&T, in collaboration with Cisco, has created a first-of-its-kind application using new contextually rich-indoor hyper-location technology.
The new, free opt-in Fernbank Meridian application, available on November 16, will guide visitors to explore the Museum with the expertise of a trained paleontologist. The Fernbank journal experience includes a combination of audio, video, touch-screen inter-actives, animation, question-and-answer challenges and sketchbook logs that are activated according to the user’s precise location within the Museum.
As visitors complete the journal sequences, they gain access to enhanced content, added activities, hidden features, new challenges, rewards and more.
The new application will transform the way visitors experience Fernbank—offering customized capabilities based on individual preferences that customers can control and modify on repeat visits. It will also allow Fernbank to publish local in-venue services and conduct marketing promotions accessible through users’ mobile devices. The analytics platform provides real-time and historical data on visitor path and flow analysis to assist Fernbank in making staffing adjustments and optimizing venue operations.
Copenhagen Airport is the main international airport in the Nordics serving Copenhagen, Denmark and the North European region. The airport is using Cisco’s Advanced Location Analytics, in partnership with SITA, to track the passenger flow of those coming and going throughout the international terminal. As a result, Copenhagen Airport can determine the appropriate level of security personnel and staff that is needed to support their passengers in a timely manner.
The analytics captured over the Wi-Fi network also allows Copenhagen Airport to track passengers from incoming flights, specifically the number of people, so they can staff accordingly in the clearance and customs department.
Examining traffic patterns in the international terminal with location analytics was the primary driver for Copenhagen Airport’s decision to work with Cisco and SITA to create a better customer experience for travelers and improve the passenger flow.
Cisco is collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies’ networking and connectivity subsidiary, Qualcomm Atheros, to deliver precise indoor location capabilities on mobile devices, while ensuring interoperability with Cisco Wi-Fi infrastructure. This collaboration provides a better indoor location capability in venues with Cisco Wi-Fi infrastructure, as well as enhances service
Discovery, provides greater context, and delivers a better mobile user experience.
Intelligent Wi-Fi Network Provides a “Smarter Blue Dot”
Cisco’s new context-aware Wi-Fi technology enables Wi-Fi networks to deliver a “smarter blue dot,” a new breed of mobile mapping services that enable informative location-based mobile applications, allowing mobile users to be better informed of their surroundings. Cisco’s intelligent Wi-Fi networking technology delivers richer information and experiences via network-connected devices over traditional blue dot mobile mapping services and applications available on standard global-positioning satellite (GPS)-enabled devices.
New network capabilities for the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) include:
Network Services Discovery – businesses can use Wi-Fi networks to detect, connect and engage mobile users connected to their Wi-Fi network.
Location Analytics that provide real-time location analytics and historical trends as mobile users travel around a businesses facility.
Mobile Concierge feature allows organizations to engage with mobile users through a native application on a smart mobile device. Cisco offers a software developer kit (SDK) for Mobile Concierge to ease development of applications and services that leverage the Cisco MSE. Mobile Concierge also provides businesses with an intelligence platform for building marketing promotions targeted directly at its customers.