Ruckus Wireless, Inc. has unveiled the Ruckus Smart Positioning Technology (SPoT) service, a Cloud-based Smart positioning location-based service (LBS) that gives carriers/service providers and enterprises the ability to deliver a wide-range of value added services over Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi networks to help increase their profitability while enhancing their users’ online experience.
Ruckus SPoT is completely Cloud-based and offers APIs for third party developers. Venues with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi installed do not need any additional hardware to be “Location Intelligent” and can immediately take advantage of third party analytics and mobile application offerings if preferred.
Embedded with a patented Indoor Positioning Algorithm gained from the company’s recent acquisition of YFind Technologies, new and existing Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi access points are now capable of powerful and accurate client positioning for indoor or dense urban environments, where GPS doesn’t always work.
By knowing where clients are located, companies are able to help them get wherever they need to go, making the network experience better for them, or use data from their location to optimize their experience. In addition, network operators can deliver location-relevant content to users based on their proximity to points of interest, including timely retail offers—even security and safety notices.
With the skyrocketing popularity of Wi-Fi driven by a new age of Wi-Fi-enabled smart devices, new requirements have emerged for an indoor GPS-like positioning service that uses Wi-Fi to enable value-added services. Though today’s cellular technologies support outdoor location services, they don’t always work well or sometimes even at all indoors, due to the inability of cellular signals to extend into buildings well. Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi coupled with advanced LBS technology is an ideal solution to this problem.
The Ruckus SPoT smart positioning solution includes a SPoT Positioning Engine that pinpoints in real time a user’s location in any indoor environment. The SPoT Location Analytics Dashboard delivers a rich set of client location information, while SPoT Engagement Tools includes an SDK and a set of APIs to power a new generation of mobile apps. These tools empower developers to build “Location Intelligent” features into a new generation of mobile applications.
SPoT Ecosystem Partner Program
With SPoT, Ruckus is also introducing the Ruckus SPoT location ecosystem, a dedicated partner program for third party application developers. Within the SPoT location ecosystem, partners are provided with an open API and SDK to easily develop customized Location Analytics and mobile apps that leverage Ruckus SPoT technology to deliver differentiated services for a range of vertical market use cases. This gives customers better insight into where clients are located and moving to enhance user engagement and experiences within their facilities. The first Ruckus SPoT location ecosystem partners include location analytics companies such as Euclid and Skyrove, and mobile application development partners including companies such as FrontPorch, ITC Infotech, PurpleWiFi, SangInfo, and TechStudio.
Ruckus SPoT is based on the technology recently acquired from location based services pioneer YFind Technologies. It gives service providers and enterprises the ability to leverage Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi access points with the latest location technology and techniques that can automatically pinpoint and track the physical location of Wi-Fi- enabled devices, without having to deploy a substantially higher density of additional Wi-Fi hardware or any client software.
Unlike conventional approaches to Wi-Fi based location services, SPoT exploits Ruckus-patented BeamFlex adaptive antenna array technology that brings a unique opportunity to correlate antenna metrics to determine client location and further improve accuracy. Ruckus BeamFlex technology is combined with a variety of advanced location techniques such as RSSI trilateration, RTT (round trip time), and RF fingerprinting and techniques that take advantage of the constant travelling speed of radio waves and packets. Ruckus SPoT is capable of better pinpointing client location, depending on the number and density of access points used.
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.
“Our innovations in location-based client positioning are driving new opportunities for operators and enterprises to easily leverage their Ruckus Wi-Fi infrastructure to support intelligent positioning services indoors, where people use Wi-Fi most,” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. “Our unique Cloud-based service approach gives customers a simple and powerful way to add immense value to their Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi networks, and the ability to easily enable new services. Cloud-based service enablement also allows for instant service provisioning without significant CAPEX contribution.”
“We see location-based services to be one of the key drivers for wireless LAN market growth starting in 2014,” said Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure, International Data Corporation (IDC). “As with other Cloud applications, Cloud-based location services can offer scalable, elastic compute resources for enterprises and service providers to collect, monitor, and provide real time analytics that are essential to providing rapid insight on user location and behavior, enabling improved user satisfaction or other business services that can be monetized.”
SPoT the Benefits For Everyone
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. The Ruckus SPoT Cloud-based location service uniquely delivers a wide range of valuable real-time and historical analytics based on actual client location.
Within retail environments, retailers can use SPoT to quickly determine the ratio of new visitors to repeat visitors, measure dwell times, and analyze shopping patterns, using both historical and real-time client data. Armed with this information, companies can gain a good indication of customer retention, and take action to improve their business and network performance.
For the hospitality industry, Ruckus SPoT can be used with existing loyalty programs to improve the customer satisfaction score of hotels by improving service delivery times for guest needs. Loyalty member customers can benefit from on-device features such as automatic check-ins, way finding and indoor navigation, as well as instant coupons.
Within healthcare environments, RuckusSPoT provides a myriad of mission-critical benefits to critical care facilities, such as navigating via a mobile application that allows employees and visitors to seamlessly find their way through complex facilities, saving valuable time, especially in emergency situations. Additionally, management personnel can more effectively plan and distribute resource utilization, significantly helping increase a healthcare organization’s overall efficiency and effectiveness.
For public venues – such as airports, convention centers, stadiums, theme parks and cities – Ruckus SPoT provides location-based services for real-time crowd control, provides location-based information to hurried travelers, and provides an intelligent way for travelers to traverse these large areas.
Ruckus SPoT provides public transit operators with real-time passenger and traffic information, to help enable better efficiency in scheduling and dispatching, as well as providing improved facilities and crowd management.
Within the education market, the Ruckus SPoT service is ideal for identifying where students and staff are located at any time. This gives schools the ability to create innovative mobile applications that, for example, push information, such as electronic text books and other digital curriculum, at desired times and locations.
Ruckus SPoT also provides full end-to-end encrypted data communication, and includes the tools necessary for companies and network operators to manage the privacy of users on their networks. These tools include authentication, MAC address hashing, and secure API access with authentication for ecosystem partners.
Available worldwide in the second quarter of 2014, Ruckus SPoT is a subscription-based service that can be purchased on either a one, three or five year basis for $25 (USD) per Ruckus access point per month. Ruckus SPoT includes an analytics dashboard, along with a web-based tool that allows for uploading floor plans and defining zones for a particular venue. Ruckus SPoT also includes a calibrator mobile application that allows network operators to quickly and easily perform RF fingerprint calibration of any given environment.
Available with the upcoming Ruckus ZoneFlex 9.8 version of system software, the Ruckus SPoT service requires no new hardware and can be used with indoor and outdoor Ruckus 802.11n access points such as the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7982, ZoneFlex 7782, ZoneFlex 7372and ZoneFlex 7055 models, as well as future Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor access points.