Ruckus Wireless introduced a major expansion of its SPoT location-based service (LBS) today (2 June 2015). The expanded Ruckus LBS solution lets service providers and enterprises improve the ROI and monetisation of their wireless infrastructure by enabling them to actively engage with customers through value-added business services tailored for the user online experience.
Ruckus claimed its LBS solution combines, for the first time, virtualised SPoT LBS software, calibration-free deployment, user presence and integrated support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beaconing. It said this streamlines the installation and delivery of location-based wireless services.
Additionally, Ruckus announced that it has entered into an alliance with Gimbal to enable effective beacon monetisation and utilisation of wireless networks. New capabilities of the Ruckus SPoT portfolio include:
• Ruckus SPoT Point: With venue calibration, SPoT Point detects client locations in real-time within a range of five to eight meters, with 80% accuracy. SPoT Point can also be deployed without calibration to enable immediate activation of location services with only a small decrease in accuracy.
• Ruckus SPoT Presence: A new, easy-to-deploy, calibration-free version for those who need less precise LBS tracking information and/or smaller venues with fewer access points deployed, SPoT Presence detects the overall number of devices present in a venue at the nearest Ruckus ZoneFlex access point (AP) using proximity analytics.
• Ruckus SPoT virtual appliance software (virtual SPoT): A new, virtualised version of SPoT LBS that can be managed off-site in private or hybrid data centres. Virtual SPoT works with VMware Vsphere (version 5.x or higher) to deliver location services from enterprise and service provider data centres.
All versions of the Ruckus SPoT location-based service also now include a Mapping Tool feature on the SPoT Administrative Portal. The Mapping Tool allows for easy updating and editing of the SPoT coverage area, and Ruckus ZoneFlex access point (AP) locations and zones, so that any changes to the SPoT deployment layout can be easily made.
Ruckus SPoT service requires no new hardware and can be used with the latest Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor 802.11ac access points, in addition to many 802.11n AP models and all new Ruckus SmartZone and existing ZoneDirector control and management platforms.
Distributed management and integration of BLE beacons
As part of the expanded Ruckus LBS solution, Ruckus ZoneFlex APs will be capable of serving as a two-way distributed management and asset and security monitoring platform for BLE beacons. The new Ruckus ZoneFlex R710 indoor access point and ZoneFlex H500 Wall Switch now support Gimbal, as well as iBeacon technology with Ruckus SmartZone and ZoneDirector controllers.
Under a new alliance with Gimbal, a leader in location and proximity-based mobile engagement, Ruckus ZoneFlex APs can now run Gimbal’s proprietary firmware, helping to ensure the highest security for beacon proximity networks via Gimbal’s unique, rolling encrypted IDs.
Ruckus APs with Gimbal technology will help enable retailers, hotels, venues, advertisers and out-of-home (OOH) networks to monetise their wireless networks by securely sharing access to their beacon networks with business partners, sponsors or digital ad networks.
Ruckus ZoneFlex APs incorporate Gimbal technology and are powered via Power over Ethernet (PoE), eliminating the need for batteries and serving as a detector for all nearby beacons.
Ruckus LBS solution for schools, retailers, cities and transportation
Within education environments, the Ruckus LBS solution can be used to track high value assets that are issued by a school as well as to further transform the educational experience to inspire new modes of learning. Throughout the campus, content can be made accessible based on location and time of day. Students can also be located via mobile devices in the case of an emergency.
For retailers, the Ruckus LBS solution provides valuable insights into customer footfall and behaviour, plus allows the mapping of data against sales records, and the ability to proactively engage with customers with targeted content that creates a unique shopping experience.
For cities and transportation hubs, such as train stations and airports, the Ruckus LBS solution enables real-time monitoring of foot traffic to optimise schedules, improve staff services, reduce congestion and gridlock, and improve safety.
An LBS ecosystem programme provides third party mobile and analytics application developers with an open API set for the delivery of comprehensive, accurate location information. This enables the development of value-added services for better customer insights and enhanced user engagement.
Ecosystem programme participants include:
• Aislelabs (personalised, real time in-store marketing)
• Purple WiFi (Wi-Fi hotspot log-in via Facebook, Google+, Twitter)
• SkyFii (guest Wi-Fi, integrated/advanced analytics, real-time targeted content delivery)
• RaGaPa (Wi-Fi monetisation and targeted messaging).
Pricing and availability
Ruckus SPoT Point, available now worldwide, is a subscription-based service that can be purchased on either a one, three or five year basis for US$25 per Ruckus access point per month.
Ruckus SPoT Presence is scheduled to be available by July 2015, with a lower price point to meet the needs of smaller stores and outdoor deployments.
Ruckus virtual SPoT location-based service is available now for a one-time fee of $995 for the per-instance license and $100 per Ruckus ZoneFlex access point.
All versions of Ruckus SPoT location-based services are available from authorised Ruckus BiG DOGs channel partners.