Aruba Location Services
Aruba Location services consists of two in depth solutions:
- Asset Tracking Infrastructure
- Indoor Mobile Engagement Infrastructure
Aruba’s Location Services solutions provide additional value to Aruba’s portfolio of wireless products. Both the Aruba asset tracking infrastructure and the indoor mobile engagement infrastructures rely on Aruba APs with Aruba Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio and beacon inside.
Aruba’s asset tracking solution uses these BLE-enabled Aruba tags and Aruba WLAN infrastructure to easily track high value assets and show their location via the Meridian-powered app. This way organizations can optimize staff and asset utilization without an additional infrastructure investment.
For the mobile engagement solution, beacons and APs that act as a beacon transmit signals and enable the unique features found on the Meridian-powered app. These features allow venues like stadiums, museums, airports, and hospitals to build an enterprise class solution to engage with their customers at new levels using location.
The heart of both infrastructures is the Aruba Meridian Cloud Platform. It enables the features on the apps and is the engine for management and analytics.
Aruba Mobile Engagement Infrastructure
While the Aruba mobile engagement solution performs within a multi-vendor Wi-Fi infrastructure, its best performance is within an Aruba wireless network with Aruba APs, ClearPass, Beacons, and Meridian.
Aruba Clear Pass Guest
Aruba Clear Pass Guest provides secure and customized guest Wi-Fi login, which can be used to promote the company’s mobile app and brand.
With Aruba wireless infrastructure, customers get:
- APs that can function as beacons, allow for data transport, and can be managed remotely
- Analytics Location Engine (ALE) collects data about people, devices, and apps on the network and makes that data available to other apps through APIs
- Insights from ALE help organizations optimize a myriad of use cases
Customers can build a mobile app in three ways:
- They can use Meridian AppMaker
- They can work with an Engage partner
- They can use Meridian Software Developer Kit (SDK)
Aruba Beacons enable Meridian to help improve the user experience. In conjunction with a Meridian mobile app, beacons can offer:
- Indoor wayfinding with blue dot navigation
- Location-based event triggers
- Location sharing to share user location
Aruba Meridian is the heart of the solution.
- The location engine makes it possible for customers to accelerate engagement with proximity services.
- Customers can manage the solution and view analytics in the cloud platform
Much of the value of the mobile engagement solution comes from Aruba Meridian. The cloud platform is the heart that powers the mobile engagement solution. With cloud hosting, customers do not need to install any equipment on premises.
Aruba Meridian allows customers to develop a custom app that is distributed to users’ phones and provides mobile engagement. Meridian provide three key features that enable this mobile engagement: Mapping and Routing, Blue Dot Wayfinding, and Campaigns.
Mapping and Routing allows for uploading of building floorplans that lets users set the starting point and destination. Blue Dot Wayfinding provides the display of a user’s actual location as a blue dot on the map to enable real-time navigation.
Using Aruba Beacons, Meridian Campaigns can push notifications to any mobile device in the proximity of the beacon, with a corresponding mobile app installed. The feature determines the user’s location and triggers a notification to the user’s device when the device comes within the proximity of a certain location. The most common use for this ability is targeted promotions and ads.
In addition to enabling mobile engagement, Meridian also collects data about devices and their usage. Built in and partner analytics help customers analyze it and benefit from these insights.
Flexibility of Options for Mobile Application Development
Aruba Meridian offers three options for building an application, depending on customer needs.
This option offers a simple-to-use, template-based tool hosted in the cloud for app building. It is unique to Aruba.
- Pro: Minimal app developer experience is required so this is a great option for PoC (proof of concept)
- Pro: Quick to develop for tight budgets and tight development cycles
- Con: Less flexibility and fewer integrations than a full custom app
Meridian Engage Partners
Customers can get a custom app built by one of over 25 Meridian Engage partners.
- Pro: More integration options available than via AppMaker
- Pro: Additional software integrations available, without requiring additional app development experience
- Con: More costly than AppMaker and takes more time (months rather than weeks)
The Meridian software development kit (SDK) is a software package that allows developers to embed Meridian self-guided maps, Blue Dot Wayfinding and proximity-based notifications into their own existing mobile app. It is available for both iOS and Android.
- Pro: Provides unlimited integration possibilities
- Pro: Preserves and enhances organization’s established mobile app
- Con: Mobile app development experience required
- Con: Takes more time than AppMaker
Location-based services rely on the Aruba Beacons, which use Bluetooth Low Energy (or BLE) to locate user devices. Your customer can deploy Beacons anywhere to deliver more precise indoor location than Wi-Fi can deliver.
Beacons are compatible with all Bluetooth 4.0 and BLE devices, and users do not have to pair with the Beacon like they do in their car or with their speakers.
Instead, Beacons chirp (or transmit) to the devices so they can determine their location in the same way that a lighthouse helps boats figure out where they are relative to the shore.
Aruba Beacons come in three forms.
Most Aruba Aps now have a BLE radio inside them, and they can transmit like a battery-powered beacon. Aruba APs can also simultaneously manage all battery-powered beacons within range.
Customers will likely need more beacons than APs, so they can augment their mobile engagement solution with standalone beacons that can be placed anywhere. These beacons have an extended battery life of four years, so unlike with competitors solutions, IT does not have to spend expensive resources maintaining the beacons. These Beacons can also be deployed in a multi-vendor
Environment to enable Meridian and provide you with a new opportunity.
They can be installed in older APs to upgrade them for support of the mobile engagement or asset tracking solutions. These Beacons can also be installed in non-AP devices with a USB port.
Bluetooth-based analytics feature provides device and usage analytics that include information about user devices and how users interact with the space. It is useful to augment marketing and IoT analytics with location and device information. This way the business can measure engagement and track campaign success.
This built-in feature also gives information about how the mobile app is being used. For example, customers can learn what items are being interacted with and searched for the most.