Cisco tackling location-based analytics with AT&T, Qualcomm

Cisco integrates a recent acquisition's services to churn out a new location-based analytics platform touted to be ideal for public places such as airports and museums.

Cisco is getting deeper into the data analytics game with a new platform that focuses on analyzing location-based information stemming from mobile devices in public hotspots such as retail stores, hotels and hospitals.

Working in tandem with AT&T's Wi-Fi network, the Connected Mobile Experience builds Cisco's contextual data analytics technology into the business's own wireless network to offer users within a designated area with a personalized experience (which could include anything from just simple information alerts to apps) on their mobile devices.

Cisco is also teaming with Qualcomm Atheros to accelerate indoor location capabilities and interoperability in order to determine more precise context about who and what is nearby in virtually any environment. Using Qualcomm's IZat location platform, the platform should be able to determine positioning within three to five meters of the user while inside a building.

The goal of the initiative is to turn enterprise and service provider customers on to a new revenue stream just by using their existing Wi-Fi networks. It's actually a bit more than simply location-based advertising as the service is also supposed to take into account things like mobile usage and habits as well as user-defined personal preferences.

So far, Cisco said it has already attracted some early adopters (namely museums and airports), which are using the service to both offer visitors with relevant information while also learning more about the users themselves.

For example, Copenhagen Airport in Denmark is using Cisco's Connected Mobile Experience to determine the appropriate level of security personnel and staff required to support their passengers on a daily basis.

Additionally, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta is deploying the technology to offer visitors with a mobile app that will guide them through the exhibits with the expertise of a paleontologist -- potentially eliminating the need for those additional audio guide walkie-talkies down the line.

The roll out of this service is a result of Cisco's recent acquisition of ThinkSmart Technologies . The Cork, Ireland-based startup was integrated into Cisco's Wireless Networking Group and Mobility Services Engine.

ThinkSmart's location analytics collected information on movement within a venue. Types of metrics included time of day, traffic patterns and dwell durations.