Developing Location Aware Applications for Intel® vPro™ Platforms with Location Based Services

What is an Indoor Location Based Service (LBS)?

Indoor location based services provide the ability to determine the location of resources inside a building where other location technologies such as GPS are not reliable.  The location of all tracked devices on a campus is stored in a central database where it can be accessed by other applications and services to provide a wide range of new use-cases.  The location of each device is determined by triangulating on a wireless signal emitted by each device or a tag attached to it.  This signal is received by wireless network access points in the vicinity of the device and forwarded to a location engine that performs the precise location calculation and stores the information.

Intel has added the ability for Intel 4th Generation vPro platforms to send the WiFi packet required to participate in location services.  This provides the ability for IT or end-users to benefit from location information with no additional hardware.

Benefits of Location Based Services

End users and IT personnel can both benefit greatly from location awareness in Intel vPro platforms.  Location data gives the platform, and the applications it uses, added intelligence.  An end user can see increased productivity through these and other use-cases:

  • Indoor navigation – Discover where you are in unfamiliar environments and obtain directions to where you need to be.
  • Resource location – Find the resources you need to get your job done.  Whether an office printer or a tool you've been assigned to repair, resources related to any industry can be mapped and detailed in relation to your location.
  • Scheduling – If you need a conference room, you don't want to schedule one that will take 20 minutes to walk to.  Similarly, you may want to tackle jobs in order of their distance from you and path between them.  Prioritize scheduling based on location to minimize transit time.

IT personnel also benefit from the added intelligence that location awareness provides their management and business process software.  Policy enforcement and resource management based entirely or in part on location is highly specialized depending on the environment where it is being used.  Some examples of location data enhancing policy enforcement or resource management are:

  • Regulatory Compliance – Warning users when they are attempting to access sensitive documents or complete certain business processes in insecure locations (e.g. cafeteria).  
  • Intellectual Property Protection – Disabling device cameras when near prototype products.
  • Billing – Automatically tag time and resource access to specific projects based on where the work occurred.  
  • Scheduling – Scheduling tasks and delivering relevant information to those people's systems closest to the task.  Reserving shared resources closest to the individuals that need them.

Typically productivity, policy enforcement, and resource management systems are already in use by a company that wants to add location capabilities.  To accomplish this, extensible software can easily access location data for specific resources through the API of a location service provider such as AeroScout.  Likewise, end-user applications can be revised to add new features in updates or enterprise upgrades.

How do you get location data from AeroScout?

The AeroScout MobileView solution provides a flexible, standards-based Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) API that gives developers bidirectional communication with MobileView for obtaining location data.  SOAP is supported by most popular development languages and platforms.  Custom capabilities can be easily added to any application that queries MobileView, responds to alerts from MobileView or both.

Querying MobileView for the location of a given asset is as simple as sending a SOAP request to the MobileView server.  The request includes an identifier for the asset to be located, typically the MAC address.

MobileView can be configured to proactively notify a third-party application of a particular event. An event is an occurrence such as an asset leaving or entering an area.  More information on the types of events that are available and how to configure them is available in the MobileView User’s Guide.  Any one of the following event action types can be configured:

  • HTTP Post (.xml or map)
  • JMS (XML or map)
  • Web Service (.xml or text based)
  • SMTP (configurable message)

Applications can implement any one or more of these protocols to receive events from MobileView to trigger some location based behavior.

For more information on the MobileView API and event system, visit http://www.aeroscout.com/IntelLBS and register to download these items:

  • Intel LBS MobileView Core Software
  • Location Engine
  • API Integration Guide
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