In the post-containment world, the functionality of wireless networks pushed by Cisco, Aruba, and Juniper allow tracing of contacts, controlling the temperature and signaling too important groupings.
Cisco, Aruba and Juniper are launching applications and services to help businesses reopen their facilities safely as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic allows. Cisco has added applications to its DNA Spaces mobile location services platform. Thanks to WiFi analysis, this allows customers to appreciate the congestion of spaces in real time. As Cisco explains, with the platform, customers will be able to know how many people are in a space simultaneously and use this data in real time to close buildings when maximum capacity is reached. “By better understanding the flow of people over time, facility managers can make smarter decisions about office organization and set appropriate cleaning schedules,” said the supplier.
DNA Spaces is made up of the wireless CMX (Connected Mobile Experience) suite from Cisco and the enterprise geolocation technology purchased from July Systems in 2018. The Cisco CMX software engine analyzes the location plus other information gleaned from it. Cisco wireless infrastructure to deliver services to customers’ mobile devices. July Systems’ technology includes an enterprise-level location platform, which includes instant client activation, data-driven behavioral information, a context rules engine, and APIs. The set supports all Catalyst, Aironet or Meraki wireless access points. DNA Spaces also provides companies with analyzes of people, materials and other items located on their physical premises. “The platform also allows us to act on this information in real time,” added Cisco. DNA Spaces is compatible with many technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth beacons or GPS and can detect the user’s device with or without an application installed.
“With DNA Spaces, customers will not only be able to see what spaces – shops, waiting rooms, cafeterias – are used and when, but also where people come to and from spend there, what data resources they use and where they go after they leave, “says Cisco. “These data will track behavioral changes as the number of people allowed to return to the office in the weeks and months to come.” In particular, we can determine at what level of occupancy people no longer follow the distance guidelines, “said Scott Harrell, senior vice president and general manager Intent-based Networking Group at Cisco, in a blog . “If that happens, a company can reconfigure hotspots, educate employees, downgrade the number of people allowed into the office, or a little bit of all at once.”
Cisco has added a service called DNA Spaces Right Now that tracks new devices entering a space when they connect to WiFi. “By tracking access points that can ‘see’ the devices electronically, the service can know which part of the building they are in,” said Harrell. Data from access cards can provide information on the number of people present in a building at a given time, but it does not allow us to know which parts of the building are occupied, or when people leave these spaces ”, said Mr. Harrell. “With WiFi, we can collect much more robust data that shows how people use these spaces and how they move around in these different spaces during the day.” Cisco has also added the IoT Sensor-as-a-Service indoor service that allows customers to manage Bluetooth-enabled IoT devices, including asset tracking devices for identification, inventory, reception, grouping and apply policy-based configurations to these devices.
Monitor activity in buildings
According to Harrell, customers can use the DNA Spaces Impact Analysis application to find out how buildings and campuses are used, not just to count them. The application generates reports on time spent in the office, occupation of buildings and other measures which can give indications for reconfiguring workplaces in order to reduce the risks of contamination. “We think these tools will be particularly important for establishments open to the public, such as stores and schools,” said Mr. Harrell. The latter added that Cisco was looking to add other capabilities to track devices moving in a given space. “This more granular data will allow employers to contact their employees and notify them of potential exposure to Covid-19, if necessary,” said Harrell. “All of these features will remain optional, and the data collected in a company’s private network will always belong to the only company owning the network. DNA Spaces currently does not offer any possibility of tracing contacts and knowing which person is next to which other person, “he said.
Other network providers are considering adding contact tracing capabilities to complement solutions that make it easier for employees to return to the workplace. For example, Aruba announced the launch of a new set of native contact search and location tools for Aruba infrastructure customers using WiFi and Bluetooth. The company’s third-party ecosystem – which includes AiRISTA Flow, CXApp, Kiana Analytics, Modo Labs and Skyfii – will offer several apps for managing social distance and group size based on Aruba. Others, like Envoy, are considering offering “pre-registration, automatic host notification, and automatic provision of WiFi credentials to visitors, all without human contact,” the company said. Aruba’s technology partners are also looking to provide contactless temperature measurement solutions for groups of people. “These offerings include automated voice response and interfaces with access control portals,” said Aruba. “The office is set to become ever smarter with WiFi, Bluetooth, IoT sensors and other capabilities that we explored to prepare for the post-Covid-19 recovery, but these solutions can be adapted to applications intended to improve ’employee experience, and provide security and crisis capabilities in the event of a new pandemic or other emergency,’ said Aruba.
Proximity tracking with Juniper Mist
Likewise, Juniper’s Mist also seeks to provide solutions to improve workplace safety in the context of the Covid-19. The company has announced that it will offer several features for its Mist access points and online services in connection with low energy consumption WiFi and / or Bluetooth devices, such as telephones and badges. For example, it will allow proximity tracking to allow companies to identify and notify other employees, guests or customers who may have encountered a person tested positive for Covid-19 on the site.
“The company will also offer a route mapping function that will identify high traffic areas so that customers can reconfigure work spaces and set up additional cleaning services to reduce health risks,” said Juniper. “The ability to know the number of devices and their location in specific areas will allow businesses to disperse or redirect traffic from congested areas through a real-time alert based on location. They will also be able to get a better idea of how space is used over time, identify areas of potential risk and take proactive measures, “said Juniper.