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Delivering IoT with Best-in-Class Wi-Fi through the Aironet Developer Platform
Delivering IoT with Best-in-Class Wi-Fi through the Aironet Developer Platform

Delivering IoT with Best-in-Class Wi-Fi through the Aironet Developer Platform

Suppose you wanted to have the ability to know where hundreds of ship-board guests were spending their time on a cruise - pool-side, buffet, bar, theatre - to improve the guest experience. Or in a healthcare environment, you need to know where critical medical equipment is located in real time. In a multi-level department mall, are customers entering and leaving stores quickly, or browsing and trying on clothes or examining flat panel TVs?

Using Aironet Access Points as a Development Platform

With the majority of mobile IoT devices capable of being networked via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the opportunity to develop innovative applications using proximity sensing and location tracking provides an outsized potential for digital transformation in many industries. But building these hybrid hardware and software applications from scratch is expensive and time consuming, delaying the critical time-to-market for new products. That’s why Cisco provides a flexible and secure foundation for developers to create their innovations in record time with the Aironet Developer Platform (ADP).

Aironet Developer Platform and DevNet Community Enables Rapid Development

Got and idea for digital transformation you want to develop using Wi-Fi and BLE devices? The place to quickly start prototyping those opportunities is the Aironet Developer Platform. Available through Cisco Devnet, the ADP provides a reference hardware and software development kit that interfaces with Aironet 3800 Access Points. DevNet’s ADP Sandbox enables testing of hardware components and the complementary code before committing to a final production design.

With over 480,000 members, the DevNet community provides a deep resource for development guidance. When proof-of-concepts designs are submitted through ADP, the Cisco Solutions Partner Program qualifies and validates the module to ensure conformity to Cisco’s standards of compliance and interoperability. The main benefit of the ADP is to give developers the freedom to innovate and experiment with new ways to take advantage of IoT devices without building everything from the ground up. ADP is a convenient and cost-effective platform for moving your concept from design to production-ready product.

Cisco DNA Center Automates IoT End-Point Security

Data security is, of course, a top concern for IoT deployments, especially if any type of sensitive data is being collected and stored. Basing a product design on the ADP and Aironet devices means you can rely on Cisco’s Intent-Based Networking to provide built-in security and DNA Center management tools to protect access to devices and the data being collected. For example, applying SD-Access to Aironet APs makes it easy to apply micro-segmentation to the connected devices to ensure they only communicate with other nodes using the same policies, and not external services that hackers could employ to gain access.

DeCurtis Proximity Guest Experience Designed and Prototyped with ADP

The DeCurtis Corporation is a Cisco partner that designs and develops proximity-based guest experience solutions, known for their Magic Band used at Disney properties. DeCurtis developed a unique architecture that enables high-accuracy location tracking through wearables and smartphones. An algorithm running on the module supports high-density beacons (>500 beacons per module) and eliminates redundant data for non-relevant events. This makes it ideal for delivering a wide range of location-based services such as on cruise lines or asset tracking of medical devices for healthcare applications.

The Aironet Development Platform was fundamental to enabling DeCurtis to rapidly design, prototype, and bring to production the DeCurtis Proximity Guest Experience Solution, which is being rolled out first by Norwegian Cruise Lines as “Cruise Freedom” on its newest and refurbished cruise liners.

AP3800 and DeCurtis module

AP3800 and DeCurtis module

This latest guest experience system, based on the Cisco 3800 Access Point combined with the DeCurtis-developed BLE Beacons and analytic applications, will enable Norwegian Cruise Lines to track and analyze passenger traffic on cruises to improve the overall guest experience. As passengers move about the cruise liners, the BLE Beacons connected to the Aironet APs sense and report on passenger movement and locations either through a special beacon wristband or via an app on passengers’ phones. This enables the staff to anticipate guest needs as they enter venues and be able to deploy personnel appropriately to serve more densely populated areas of the ship. Based on their location onboard, guests can also be sent customized messages to their phones, inviting them to events specifically of interest to them—again, helping to maximize the guest experience.

The DeCurtis Proximity Guest Experience module, developed through the Cisco ADP in just six months, has an on-board processor and BLE reader which filters and processes beacon information for the back-end analytics dashboard. The module uses a secure VPN connection provided by the Aironet AP to communicate with the analytics engine to ensure privacy. The modules are easy to install along with the Cisco-managed onboard Wi-Fi, simply by plugging the BLE modules into the 3800 APs, no extra drops, switches, power, or wiring needed. This greatly reduces the cost of installation since running Ethernet cables through a sleek cruise liner is very expensive.

Simplifying IoT Development and Deployment

The Aironet Development Platform is yet another way that Cisco changes the way developers and product managers can employ wireless networks with IoT and mobile devices to jump start digital transformation. As IoT infiltrates every corner of the enterprise and beyond, Cisco Intent-Based Networking provides the tools and techniques to securely manage the myriad connections that are being woven into the digital world.