A large number of beacon deployment for Meridian wayfinding occurs after the Aruba APBs have already been deployed in the infrastructure. If this is the case, it is not necessary to rip the APs out and re-install. So long as the APBs are deployed for optimal Wi-Fi connectivity, approximately 50 feet apart, battery powered beacons and additional APs can be used to fill-in and augment the user experience.
Beacon Deployment Guidelines
For the best user experience, follow these guidelines.
- For Beacons Management, deploy APs in the venue in accordance to the requirements for best quality video and audio performance, approximately every 50 ft.
- AP Beacons must be enabled and configured as either a Location Beacon or Proximity Beacon type for it to operate as a beacon sensor, aka. Observer.
- For best blue dot performance deploy beacons no more than 30ft apart. This will ensure a blue dot of 10-15ft accuracy. More denser deployments down to 15ft will ensure a greater level of accuracy.
- Along a corridor, if possible deploy beacons configured in a straight line down the center of the corridor, or along one side of the hallway. Avoid staggering beacon placement on each side of the wall, as the blue dot will float side-to-side as the user walks in a straight line. A user's position can be represented by a blue dot with 1, 2 or 3 beacons. Trilateration works best if heard by at least 3 beacons. If there are adjacent rooms to the corridor, but blue dot is not required in that room, do not place a beacon in that room.
- In an open area room, deploy beacons first in the corners, second along the perimeter of the room, and third fill in the inner space of the open area. A blue dot will only show up inside the outer perimeter of the place beacons.
- If accuracy is not required in the room but the customer just needs to know that the asset is in the room, then a single beacon in the center of the room should be sufficient.
Workflow for Deploying Beacons for Wayfinding
This section describes the workflow for configuring Aruba Access Point Beacons (APB) and deploying battery-powered beacons to support Meridian blue dot wayfinding after the APs have already been deployed.
The steps below will step you through the best approach for deploying the beacons.
Step 1. Highlight the corridors and walk ways
These are the areas where we expect the user to have a blue dot that tracks them in a straight line.
Step 2. Identify the Open Areas
Open areas are the open areas where we expect to track the user in two-dimension space, X and Y. Illustrated using the rectangle with an X in the middle.
Step 3. Locate and Configure the APBs for Blue Dot
Look at where the APBs have already been deployed. For the ones that touch the pathways or open areas, configure those APBs as Location beacons. Where blue dot is not required, configure the beacons as Proximity beacons. It is not recommended to use all APBs as Location beacons in areas where a blue dot is not necessary. In some cases, it may produce an undesirable blue dot behavior, for example, the blue dot may stray from the hallway and pull the user into a broom closet where an APB may have been placed. So, instead of tracking the user in a straight line down a hallway, the blue dot may be zig-zagging down the hallway.
The APB must be configured as either a Location or Proximity beacon so it can start to operate as a beacon sensor. In Meridian editor, they are labeled as observers. These observers listen for the beacons and report details such as beacon firmware, type, id, battery level and rssi values to Meridian server for Beacons Management. This information helps the admin to understand the health of the beacon deployment.
In this example, the APB deployment seems good enough. However, if the 30 ft square grid was super-imposed on the map, there are a few gaps in the hallways and open areas where we expect to get a blue dot.
Step 4. Augment Blue Dot with Battery-powered Beacons
To get better blue dot accuracy between that is within 6-15 ft, fill in the gaps using battery-powered beacons. Use the following techniques to achieve best blue dot behavior:
- in the hallway, deploy beacons in a linear pattern
- in the open areas, deploy beacon in a matrix pattern
- in the areas where blue do is not required, do not deploy beacons
When the final deployment is completed. A pattern will emerge that shows where the hallways and open areas are on the map.
The mobile app relies on the the beacons placed in the environment to show the user's location using the blue dot. It seems like you should be able to place beacons anywhere and let the app figure it out, but the mobile app does not a have a spatial awareness to keep the user in a hallway or in a room when it is necessary. To ensure the best user experience, it is critical that the beacons are place in strategic locations as described above.
If the system does not work as expected after completing all the steps described above, you may contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org.