CTS 132 – Location-Based Analytics

Recorded at Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, FL, we speak to Christian Gauer about Wi-Fi location-based analytics.

Meet Greg Skeene

Our featured wireless engineer for this episode is Greg Skeene. He’s a listener of the show and we finally met up during a meetup at Cisco Live. Listen to the episode to hear him answer François’ 10 questions.

Greg Skeene - Wi-Fi Engineer

Location-Based Analytics

This episode was recorded at Cisco Live 2018 in the Podcast Domain. Our guest is Christian Gauer, a TME in Cisco focused on location-based analytics.

We’re new to location-based analytics so we wanted to know more about it. Especially with the increased amount of IoT devices coming on the network. Can we use that data to make business decisions?

What are some of the expectations for location-based analytics? We can expect to do way-finding, locating a device, using an app to locate yourself to draw line on the map of where to go.

Location is calculated by a Cisco CMX box. Data going into CMX needs to be accurate. This means design will be critical. APs should be mounted on the ceiling up to 20 feet high. Multi-trangulation is used in measuring distance-based on RSSI.

More accurate measurements is done with angle of arrival. Multi-trangulation needs more than 3 APs for higher accuracy. More than just triangulation. Why 3 APs minimum? Because of triangulation. With wireless location, a device needs to be inside context of APs. For location, start at the perimeter of the walls.

But why go into location-based analytics? Everyone wants to know whats going on. Top use cases – retail wants to know what’s going on in a shop and how much time customers are spending time in the shop and which section. An airport may want to know what’s going on with security, how much time people are spending there, or maybe there are too many people crowding at the gate.

Take a coffee chain with many locations into consideration. They offer free Wi-Fi. Device get connected and now the coffee chain can track who is connecting to their Wi-Fi network. But how many APs does a coffee shop need? Maybe need 1 or 2 APs for coverage. What kind of info can you get out of it? Is it important where someone sits, maybe not? It can be difficult differentiating someone sitting next to another.. or lining up. Presence provides detection of customer which means you can find out who is stopping by multiple shops. This is how you identify return visitors and measure dwell time. Other methods of using location-based analytics includes having an idea of how busy the store is for staff planning or how long it takes customers to get cup of coffee.

But a store needs to ask the question from the customer point of view, why should I connect to the Wi-Fi? There has to be an offer.

Listen to the episode for more details!

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About the Author
Rowell, CWNE #210, is a network engineer in Higher-Ed. He enjoys working with wireless networking technologies and loves to share and engage with the community. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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