Cisco’s new Beacon Point creates the vBeacon category

Cisco is disrupting the Beacosystem with its new CMX Beacon Point vBeacon product. Moving beacons with a point and a click promises to change the way we look at the Total Cost of Ownership of large beacon developments. We discuss where vBeacons work best and see Cisco’s web management tools in action.

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London’s Gatwick Airport presently has 2,000 beacons for in-house navigation

Complicated in-house environments including air-ports and shopping malls is often a bad dream to find your way around. And even though Google is seeking phones with 3D detectors as one potential fix for places GPS won’t precisely reach, another approach is to kit out an interior with tons of Bluetooth beacons – giving mobile users located-locked pings to fix onto to learn where they are.

The UK’s 2nd busiest airport, Gatwick airport, has picked the second approach to power an indoor navigation system it’s launching as an element of a wider, multi-year transformation program.

It’s now finished providing its two terminals with close to 2,000 battery-powered beacons to make sure that digital map users will get a more exact blue dot as they stroll around. The beacon system will likewise be employed to power an augmented reality wayfinding tool – guaranteeing that mobile users will be able to be guided to a particular locations in the terminals with on-screen arrows. The beacon system is planned as backing up positioning with +/-3m accuracy.

Gatwick is intending to integrate indoor positioning into some of its mobile apps, and says it’s in discussions with airlines to take advantage of it for their own mobile apps and services – giving demonstration of them having the ability to send push notifications to advise individuals if they’re running late, or even make a decision on whether or not to wait or offload luggage so an airplane can take off promptly.

Stores and other third parties will likewise be able to utilize the system for proximity detection of potential consumers and delivery promotion messages – at a minimum to those who have opted in to receive them.

Gatwick says it won’t be collecting any private data using the beacons but says “generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones” will be employed to help improve airport operations – for instance, queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and reducing congestion.

The airport has worked with UK startup company Pointr on the system. As well as developing software and managing the system on an ongoing basis, Pointr offers an SDK with support for 3D AR wayfinding as a way for third parties to take advantage of the functionality.

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