Location-based services are usually thought of as an outdoor capability linked to smart phones that can deliver targeted messages to people. But as retailers and other organizations put Wi-Fi access points in indoor public places some see advantages of having the ability to have location services with local wireless as well.
For those enterprises, carriers and service providers Ruckus Wireless Inc. is showing off its upcoming Ruckus Smart Positioning Technology (SPoT) service, a cloud-based platform gives subscribing organizations the ability to deliver a wide-range of value added services over Ruckus Wi-Fi access point networks.
The goal is to help increase subscriber profitability through delivering targeted messages to devices, which, hopefully, is welcomed by consumers.
SPoT is based on technology Ruckus recently acquired from location based services company YFind Technologies.
A number of access point and network equipment makers are getting into Wi-Fi location based services. Hewlett-Packard recently discussed a solution at a Toronto conference for academics.
Ruckus said that unlike other solutions on the market SPoT is more accurate, uses new and existing Ruckus Smart APs, doesn’t need an appliance for signal processing or a client app and offers APIs for third party developers. It can also use third party analytics.
A real-time heat map allows companies to analyze where their customers are aggregating within a space, with the ability to define zones and compare traffic data between different zones. All this data is customizable for time intervals, allowing historical analysis and tracking of trends.
The SPoT solution includes an SDK and a set of APIs allowing software developers to build location-intelligent features into mobile applications for vertical markets. The first partners include location analytics companies such as Euclid and Skyrove, and mobile application development partners including companies such as Front Porch, ITC Infotech, Purple WiFi, SangInfo, and TechStudio.
“With accurate indoor positioning, organizations across nearly every vertical market can now create the right indoor contexts for marketing campaigns, develop comprehensive footfall analysis, and provide varied forms of digital concierge services to customers and employees,” Ruckus said in a statement.
It gave a number of use cases. For example, within retail environments, retailers could use SPoT to determine the ratio of new visitors to repeat visitors, measure dwell times, and analyze shopping patterns, using both historical and real-time client data. This will help determine customer retention.
In the hospitality industry, the service could help improve service delivery times for guest needs, automatic check-ins, way finding and indoor navigation, as well as instant coupons.
Or it could be used by public transit operators with real-time passenger and traffic information to help scheduling and dispatching.
The service will be available worldwide in the second quarter on either a one, three or five year basis for $25 (USD) per Ruckus [NYSE: RKUS] access point per month. SPoT includes an analytics dashboard, a Web-based tool that allows floor plans to be uploaded, and a calibrator mobile application that allows network operators to quickly and easily perform RF fingerprint calibration of any given environment.
To take advantage of it organizations need the upcoming Ruckus ZoneFlex 9.8 version of system software and access points such as the existing ZoneFlex 7982, 7782, 7372 and 7055 models.