We are excited to announce our new Cashier Call Button, a wireless call button so your cashiers can quickly and easily call for assistance without interrupting the checkout process. With a simple press of a button, a customized announcement is made over a two-way radio or sent to a tablet. The messages are customized for each button and each cashier, so your cashier gets the help they need fast!
|Cashier needs change? Press a button and a customized announcement gets change there fast!|
|Are some of your cashiers under 21? Press the Alcohol button and an announcement is immediately sent and help is on the way!|
|Need a price check? Press the price check button and all staff that are available to do the price check are immediately notified. No muss, no fuss.|
|A cashier can call a manager over just by pressing the manager button. The manager doesn’t need to see a flashing light, but can be anywhere in the store.|
Great post by Paul Sabadin on LoRa and LoraWAN, for long range iOT communication.
…we see that LoRa has a star-of-stars topology and can span great distances, even over a single End Device link (on the order of 15 km), making the technology very IoT friendly.
We had a customer looking for a solution to automatically open a gate when the owner’s vehicle approached. We helped him with a prototype of our new beacons and an external antenna. Here is his experience.
Article written by Robert Predovich:
We wanted to automatically open a sliding wrought iron gate at the entrance of a new home as the homeowners approached it within their vehicles. The “open gate” command is available via custom programming within SmartThings and attempts were made to use geofencing on their iPhones to recognize proximity and create a trigger. However, this proved very inconsistent and unreliable. The concept of using a locally installed Bluetooth beacon that would trigger an app on the iPhones, which would in turn trigger an event within SmartThings, was then considered as an alternative.
The location is near Toronto, Canada and so weather, especially cold and snow in winter, become a major issue with regards to determining where a beacon could be installed. Not having to rely on battery power that would be susceptible to a shortened lifespan with the cold temperatures was a significant design consideration. Therefore, an enclosed area that could be serviced with AC power was desirable.
The General Plan
The gate is controlled by a DoorKing unit that provides a user interface for visitors. The hope was that a beacon could be mounted within its metal enclosure without interfering with that unit’s electronics. This would provide the protection and AC power required.
Initially a Proxidyne Bleu Station Series 100 Beacon was installed. The small size of the unit, even when powered via the AC adapter, was perfect. However, the metal enclosure severely restricted its range. Considering the homeowners would be in their own “metal enclosure” (their vehicle) as they approached the gate, the result was that there was no perceived benefit of an automatic reaction by the system to open the gate compared to their ability to manually trigger the opening of the gate as they arrived.
When I explained the dilemma to Tim Perfitt and Russell Scheil of Proxidyne they recommended that I do an experiment with a prototype Bleu Station Beacon that had the ability to have an external antenna attached. In this way the beacon could be mounted inside the metal enclosure, safely away from the weather elements and powered via AC, with the dipole antenna sitting on top as illustrated by the photos.
The beacon range, which was only a few meters from the enclosure when the antenna was inside it, was increased to approximately 110 meters during testing when walking away from it. Although the range during normal use is expected to be reduced by the fact that the iPhones will still be within a metal vehicle as they approach, the external antenna has made this concept a practical solution for us.
Thanks for the great writeup, Bob!
Here is a photo of our Series 360 Beacon with external antenna, powered over mini USB or 2 AA batteries:
If you are interested in an external antenna for your iBeacon application, or more information about our beacons and bluetooth devices for deployment, get in touch!
Demo and explanation of how I created an iOT candy machine that gives out skittles whenever someone follows us on twitter (@proxidyne). Links mentioned in the video below.
Series 360 Relay: http://www.proxidyne.com/project/relay/
Candy Dispenser at Amazon (affiliate link): http://amzn.to/2auvVSz
Source Code: https://bitbucket.org/tperfitt/iotcandymachine
(Thanks to Jose Marcelino @jmarcelino for the idea from his tweet https://twitter.com/jmarcelino/status/724155310307467264 )
There was no mention of iBeacon in the WWDC 2016 keynote but there was an update in a related Apple technology shown in the beta Server software that is going to radically change the beacon landscape. First, some background.
iBeacon is a protocol released by Apple that lets an iPhone detect a nearby Bluetooth device that is transmitting the iBeacon protocol. When an iPhone is in proximity to these Bluetooth devices that support the iBeacon protocol, an app that is registered with iOS to be notified when nearby to this beacon is notified and can do lots of interesting things with this information. One of the biggest feature of iBeacon support in iOS is that it can launch an app in the background that has registered for that iBeacon info, and it processes that info in the background, even if the iPhone is at the lock screen. This feature is used by our Geohopper app and lots of others.
We have been working organizations to implement solutions with iBeacon technology, and we have been deploying it in museums, retail stores, for home automation, and more. One of the most potentially powerful areas that we have been working with customers is to change settings on the iPhone when in range of a beacon with Mobile Device Management (MDM). For instance, turning off the camera when in a school locker room. Or removing a document when leaving a meeting. While we are able to trigger setting changes when in range or out of range of a beacon, it has not been possible to ensure that this policy is enforced because the user could just turn off Bluetooth and no beacons would be detected. This is all changing in iOS 10.
In iOS 10, Apple is introducing a new policy key called “allowBluetoothModification” in MDM policy that can be set to true or false. The current beta version of Server shows the key for iOS in Profile Manager. It is identified as “Allow modifying Bluetooth settings (supervised mode) ”. Once this key is set to false, the user cannot turn off Bluetooth and the device will always be notified when in range of a beacon to trigger a change in policy settings on the device.
The device must be in supervisor mode, so this setting is most applicable to organizationally owned iPhones and iPads (though as a parent, it may be helpful at home as well, like disabling texting while driving).
This represents a huge change to how iPhones and iPads can be managed. They can specify certain policies based on very close proximity, like AirPlay selection, select the apps that are available, the WiFi networks to select, and much more.
And this makes our Trusted Beacon even more powerful. For example, if an enterprise wants to use location as a second trusted factor in authentication, they can use our trusted beacon to validate that the beacon is really owned by an organization. With this new MDM setting, they can be secure knowing the Bluetooth will always be on. Read more about Trusted Beacon on the Trusted Beacon page.
And if you are interested in MDM and iBeacon, check out The next iBeacon frontier: Mobile Device Management posting. Try it out as well by purchasing the best beacons out there from our store. Or get in contact with us and learn more about using our iBeacons for setting MDM policy.
A challenge for staff allocation is letting associates know when a customer needs assistance so they can close the sale. A national chain is using Proxidyne Sensor Net to detect when customers in their furniture section dwell for more than 90 seconds so an associate can offer advice, provide options, and up-sell assembly and delivery.
Here is how it works. A wireless camera detects motion in the furniture section and reports the activity to our Proxidyne Bridge. The Proxidyne Bridge analyzes the activity and determines if it is a customer that is dwelling in the area and alerts an associate over the 2-way radios in the store. The associate then assists the customer and can close the sale.
The chain determined that the dwell detection and announcements dramatically increased their sales in the furniture section.
Find out more about how Proxidyne solutions can increase sales in your organization.
We are just getting started in IoT.
Some market perspective about the Internet of Things –
“I wanted to gain a better understanding of the Internet of Things market and how all of the different players fit together. I created a map for myself, hopefully you will find it useful too.” – Chris McCann, Greylock Partners
“There are currently more devices connected to the internet than humans, and this is predicted to continue along an upward trend. It is estimated by 2020, 26 billion “things” will be connected to the internet.”
Proxidyne helps you solve the perennial “Goldilocks Problem” of Staff Allocation with automated customer traffic analysis and automated staff dispatch.
First, Proxidyne continually measures customer traffic in your most important aisles and service points with wireless sensors and motion sensing cameras.
Then, Proxidyne crunches the numbers to give you visual summaries of customer traffic so you can schedule the right number of staff to properly serve the expected number of customers. Our analytics show you the average number of customers throughout your store and trends based by aisle, service-point, store and region, by time of day, time of year, and more.
Next, Proxidyne’s automated dispatch alerts staff when customers are shopping in high-value aisles so staff can help customers buying your most valuable merchandise.
No phone or app required! Proxidyne measures customers’ physical presence in your store using wireless sensors such as dwell detection cameras, pressure sensitive floor mats, and Proxidyne Button wireless call buttons. Staff are discretely notified via their two-way radios or in-store handheld devices enabling them to assist customers precisely when they can have the most impact.
Prompt service by your trained staff increases revenue and upselling while decreasing abandonment and loss through theft.
Contact us to learn how Proxidyne’s Staff Allocation Solution can help you and your stores meet your sales goals with in-store proximity sensors and solutions.
Recently, a hardware store chain wanted to automatically detect when a customer was waiting at a counter and alert the associates, but did not want to alert the associates when the clerk was already at the counter. We installed Proxidyne Sensor Net with two motion detecting cameras, one over the area for the clerk and one over the area where customers would come up to the counter. Both cameras reported their activity back to our Proxidyne Bridge, and it analyzed the data. When the clerk was not at the counter for more than 45 seconds, and a customer arrived, the associates are automatically notified on their 2-way radios to return to the counter and assist the customer.