New-gen wireless networking provider Mist on April 4 unveiled a new asset visibility service available that can be deployed over its wireless platform. This is a tool that could become a valuable resource in the burgeoning greenfield of the IoT.
The new service, an extension of the company's virtual Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) offering, enables companies in almost every vertical to efficiently locate mobile devices and assets using standard BLE technology.
Example use cases for the service include:
--Healthcare: Easily locate assets, patients and caregivers and get real-time visibility into workflows and resource utilization.
--Retail/warehousing: Find associates, forklifts, ladders, pallets, and other strategic assets.
--Hospitality: Optimize staffing resources based on traffic patterns; connect guests to nearby associates for rapid service; find mobile resources like luggage carts.
--Transport and Logistics: Track assets and optimize paths in loading docks and warehouses.
--Enterprise: Locate employees in an emergency; check-in visitors automatically; easily find available conference rooms; measure traffic patterns for accurate resource planning.
"Many usage scenarios exist for indoor location services. They differ in the types of people or assets being tracked whose location is needed to improve not only a business process, but also the granularity that is required to make better business decisions, such as optimized maintenance and staffing," wrote analysts Tim and Annette Zimmerman of Gartner Research.
"Mist is the first vendor to offer an open, scalable wireless networking platform that brings connectivity, indoor location services, asset tracking and Internet of Things (IoT) together in a seamless and cost-effective manner," Mist Vice-President of Products Sudheer Matta said.
"The Mist platform leverages machine learning and modern cloud technologies to simplify wireless operations and deliver amazing new location based services."
Mist's enterprise-grade platform for indoor BLE location services has features hat include a dynamic BLE 16 antenna array integrated into Mist's Wi-Fi Access Points, machine learning in the Mist cloud (which eliminates the need for expensive site surveys) and patented virtual beacon (vBLE) technology.
The Mist architecture is can both transmit and receive BLE signals, which makes it ideal for "contextual engagement" services, such as wayfinding and proximity messaging, as well as "operational efficiency" applications, such as the new asset visibility service now offered.
Mist also announced that it has expanded its BLE Alliance program to include new strategic partners that share a common goal of using BLE asset visibility to save time and money while improving operational efficiencies.
The Alliance, announced in December 2016, is driving the adoption of high accuracy indoor location services through BLE thought leadership and product interoperability. The initial goal of the program was to facilitate the adoption of contextual engagement services such as wayfinding, proximity messaging, and resource scheduling applications.
Now Mist has expanded the alliance to also include asset visibility, with the inclusion of the following industry leaders:
--AiRISTA is a leader in providing BLE based Real Time Location Systems (RTLS), process improvement, and workflow automation solutions. AiRISTA's technology-agnostic Unified Visibility Solution (UVS) is an enterprise grade IoT platform which is offered for both on premise and in-cloud deployments, seamlessly integrating BLE based AiRISTA tags and sensory devices.
--Bluvision is leading the innovation in the IoT space as market leaders in sensor beacons; software driven, highly-accurate RTLS; and the pioneers of achieving cloud connectivity without the need for smartphone applications. Bluvision's advanced architecture provides enterprises scalable solutions for tracking the location, health and performance of assets and employees.
--Cetani utilizes its Activate software platform for various uses including visibility, asset management and advanced workflow monitoring and management. With over 15 years of indoor locating experience and industry leading software, Cetani has a depth of location solutions and a history of innovative products not found in other solutions.
--Kontakt.io is a provider of Bluetooth Low Energy beacons and tags globally. Kontakt.io uses BLE beacon technology to bridge the gap between real and digital. It empowers business in every vertical by connecting proximity-aware devices to the cloud. Future IoT solutions will require seamless connectivity, and Kontakt.io is helping build a foundation through proper IoT asset tagging and tracking.
The Asset Visibility Service is generally available now through authorized Mist partners. Like Mist's Business Critical Wi-Fi Assurance service and BLE Contextual Engagement service, the Asset Visibility Service is purchased per Mist Access Point on an annual basis. Pricing is available upon request.