Cisco has released an analytics tool designed to help companies track user activity on their Wi-Fi networks.
The company said that its Advanced Location Analytics platform would allow firms to track activity on their networks and offer location-specific data for devices.
Based in part on technology from recently acquired ThinkSmart Technologies, the analytics platform will be embedded into Cisco's Wi-Fi hardware and is being trialled by the company in a pair of pilot programmes.
Cisco believes that the technology can be used to provide premium services in markets such as retail locations or guided tours, while retailers and infrastructure providers will be able to gather data on customer and passenger activity and travel patterns.
"With rich radio frequency innovation in wireless networking infrastructure, our recent investment in ThinkSmart Technologies for location data analytics, and new indoor hyper-location capabilities we are unlocking an unsurpassed end-user experience and powerful business benefits," said Cisco wireless networking group vice president and general manager Sujai Hajela.
"These mobile networking advancements mark the end of the days of inaccurate, two-dimensional maps and ‘good-enough' services offered to people at indoor-locations and venues."
Gartner research vice president Paul DeBeasi said that end users could also see benefits from the system, which could greatly ease the process of connecting to a wireless hotspot.
"Typically, users must establish a time-limited user name/password and then must login to the network every time they visit the venue. In addition, the hotspot provider can’t easily alert a nearby user of relevant services and can’t easily push an application to the user," DeBeasi explained.
"The new Cisco capability enables a hotspot provider to deploy services and applications to mobile users without requiring user pre-registration or pre-loading of applications."