Mister Beacon Episode #16

The Art of Beacon Deployment

September 23, 2016

Getting beacon deployment right is the difference between success and failure. It involves art, organization and science. We distill what you need to know into ten critical success factors and discuss them with Siddharth Panigrahi of Gimbal, one of the most experienced engineers in this area. Sidd has worked on many of the biggest beacon deployments in the world, including three Super Bowls, SXSW, MLB's baseball stadiums and Citibank.


  • Siddharth Panigrahi 00:04

    Multi Level structures and very few put it too high, you might see bleed on the top floor and you may not realize it was your testing on the first floor, everything looks great. You move on. And then what if you don't make it to this part on the floor about when you're seeing the beacon from the non first floor, so that could break the use case. But if you look at a convenience store to detect presence, one maybe two beacons gives you okay, I know when they walk in the store, versus are they looking at soda or candy at that, at that level, it becomes okay, you need more specificity and more friendly. Now, first of all, you're adding time to reconfigure each one of these beacons. And tomorrow, if your use case changes, that means you have to send someone back out to reconfigure them again.

    Steve Statler 00:43

    Yeah, and you just broken the first use case.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 00:45

    So exactly that allows them to scale because when you're thinking about, hey, I'm going to install beacons across 1000 locations, you're not going to be able to visit 1000 locations.

    Narration 00:54

    Planning, placement propagation, procurement, permission, privacy and public notices process presentation and people. You're listening to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Beacosystem with Steve Statler.

    Steve Statler 01:17

    Welcome to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Beacosystem. My name is Steve Statler of Statler Consulting. And we're doing this show in partnership with our friends Proxbook and this week, we're back at Gimbal. We're not talking to the CEO, we're actually talking to someone who is intimately involved in most of the deployments that get done at Gimbal. And the subject of today's show is all about deployment. So why is deployment interesting? It's interesting, because it's a critical success factor. And arguably, you're going to spend more money on the deployment of beacons than you will on the beacon hardware itself. So getting it right is really key. And I'm really pleased to be with said and since full name, I will attempt to pronounce Siddharth Panigrahi. Sorry, I know that's not quite right. But we'll hopefully close that. Sidd hanks very much for doing the show.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 02:12

    Pleasure. Nice to speak to you again, Steve.

    Steve Statler 02:13

    Yeah, so we used to work together at Qualcomm, you were an engineer. So that meant you were right at the top of the heap. So Qualcomm is run by engineers and lawyers and business development, people and strategists are fairly low down along with the maintenance stuff. But so your background is engineering. And you did a lot of the beacon deployments when when we were Qualcomm. And now your role or your role. I think when Gimbal was first formed, am I right in saying was you were director of essentially customer engineering? And it's correct. And your director?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 02:48

    Yeah. So I was I was involved in a lot of the deployments we did, when we were getting call coming in after we spun out. And then now I've moved into know more of the sales engineering role. So I get involved much early on, which actually helps me shape some of the discussions as well, before, you know, while things are being decided, including beacon deployments, use cases, how many beacons are needed, how it's going to be implemented, or, you know, rolled out. So that definitely helps me shape and helps us you know, influence and hopefully, avoid things that we've seen people trip across in the past.

    Steve Statler 03:22

    So you can sell and design for deployment considerations, as well as talking about speeds and feeds and stuff. So how many deployments Do you think you've been involved?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 03:30

    A lot, I don't have a number. But we've done you know, at Gimbal, we've done as you know, you've you've deployed across a large variety of locations. And I have a number to tell you, but yeah, hey, it's more than 510 2030? Probably, yeah, more than 50?

    Steve Statler 03:48

    And can you talk about the kinds of deployment any names that you can share, or at least industries where you've worked?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 03:53

    Sure, if we, I believe, you know, we've done a lot of sports, you know, stadiums and venues over 60 or 70, plus stadiums in the US itself. You know, if you've done the Superbowl two years in a row, Citibank, you know, came out publicly also with some of the cool stuff you're doing with them. So that's some of the, you know, stuff that's happened in the last, you know, year and a half of such. So yeah, it's been, you know, sports venues, gas stations, as you're aware of.

    Steve Statler 04:18

    Yes, indeed, we spent with still on gas station forecourts together and figured out how to get the beacons to distinguish between pump one and bump two, which is quite challenging, but possible. So well, that's cool. So who were going to use a structure that we used in the book and one thing I should say is you are the Gimbal, contributor to the book in terms of the deployment chapter, which I think is a fantastic chapter. So thanks very much. And the thing that makes it good is it's actually informed by real practical experiences that you've gotten and the folks that point inside had and we used a 10 P structure for that. Chapter so the 10 PS, I'm gonna have to look at my notes are planning, placement, propagation, procurement, permission, privacy, or public notices, process presentation and people. So that kind of gives you a sense of all the things that people need to think about when they're deploying. It's not just a matter of just sticking it out. Yeah, especially when you get to a large stadium or even a network of, of stores and so forth. So, actually, let's jump to the end. Cuz I think it's interesting to talk about people who is it the actually puts the beacons up in a big deployment? Is it you in a van going around to 10,000? Fast food stores? Or how does it work?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 05:43

    So yeah, it can vary, in most cases, at least, you know, with our enterprise customers, you know, folks who are looking to install beacons across the country in hundreds of 1000s of locations, it typically the most effective way, and also that a cost effective and in terms of you know, doing it right is to work with internal teams who do you know, who work on putting existing infrastructure in those locations, like, you know, pay will be store ops, or, you know, people who are putting maybe sometimes access points or point of sale machines in the in those locations, we typically work with our customers to help train the internal teams who is then in turn going to manage the logistics of, okay, this is, you know, we will work with them to build a training document on how to train because, hey, on each one of these locations, you're not necessarily going to have an expert, who knows everything about beacons and RF devices, it's going to be a person who's proficient enough to see a piece of paper, follow instructions, and then also understand some basics of wire these devices going in, and what do they serve? What purpose do they serve?

    Steve Statler 06:45

    It really takes us to the first P, which is process and having it really planned out to make this corrected.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 06:52

    Simple. Yep. Because you know, and planning starts, right, you know, when folks start looking at beacons is still, you know, before, before you can get to how many beacons are needed, where to place them? What's the use case? How do you know typically also, what large customers do is, you start with the beacon deployment that you can build upon. So here today, it might be X number of beacons. And tomorrow, you might scale to 3x, or 5x. But you just start with, hey, I can now reuse these beacons to now, you know, advance my use cases and build upon them versus, you know, I need to reach release, restructure the whole deployment, because it was so specific to a use case.

    Steve Statler 07:31

    So you need to think in advance because the placement of the beacon is driven by the use case that you're implementing. And don't just think ahead.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 07:42

    Absolutely. I mean, time to time. And it happens more frequently than you would think is, you know, typically, you will get questions where, hey, I have this there. Here's the stadium, how many beacons do I need? And the question back is, well, that's a difficult question to answer, because that solely depends on the use case. In some cases, there are scenarios where you know, someone's trying to put beacons in this space, because they want to be able to, you know, offer it for two different types of fliers. Maybe it's, you know, convention center that wants beacons. And they really don't know the use case, but they want high level beacon coverage. So they can cater to different conventions, different conferences, that happens in the space. So in that we typically work with them to determine, hey, you know, do you want to detect presence in the area where you just want to know that people are in this general area might be a particular section of the convention center? Or do you want to get very specific that, hey, they're at a specific concession stand. And typically, it's a combination of those two. And so we will work in some spaces where just you know, it's fairly generic, we can install where the use cases may not be defined, because there might be no use cases, it might be someone looking ahead to upgrade the existing infrastructure to allow for, you know, companies that hold events there to be able to use the beacons similar to setting you know, I'm sending a Wi Fi for the venue. I just need coverage.

    Steve Statler 08:58

    So if you have a really good idea of what your use case may be, the number of beacons is going to be smaller. But if you want a lot of flexibility, you're going to have a lot more beacons, because you just got to cover all eventualities.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 09:08

    Sure, exactly. Um, and again, we when the use cases are specific, that obviously makes it slightly easier. With beacons, you know, you always have the scenarios where these are radiofrequency devices, so every physical location will have its own slight variations. So we again, work with the customer to come to a general plan of placement where hey, this will work across 95% of our locations, maybe the 5% might be you know, one offs or no slightly different scenarios, but we work with them to generalize the plans that can that allows them to scale because when you're thinking about, hey, I'm going to install beacons across 1000 locations, you're not gonna be able to visit 1000 locations you typically pick. Let's see, there's 10 different types of layoffs that cover 95% of these.

    Steve Statler 09:55

    So you'll actually visit a representative several locations and sometimes As these fast food places they kind of have different models that store we have a model a store model, store, the upmarket small. Exactly. So you do a site survey once what? How do you approach the site survey, once.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 10:12

    The site surveys, you know, typically we have a starting use case or a set of use cases, let's say these are the, you know, minimum requirements that need to be met. site surveys help us determine, you know, we have some rough guidelines learnings already from what to expect, meaning Hey, you place a beacon, you're, I know what to expect when I need to target someone or if it's a tap to the beacon use case, or if is, I want to capture users within five to 10 feet or just capture anyone who I see which could be within this 3550 feet area. site. Now site survey allows us to zoom in on if it's a quick service restaurant, okay, this is what it means to capture people at the drive thru or the entrance to it allows us to, you know, run some quick testing with the tools we provide. It might just be temporarily placing beacon at different locations, sites, or we also helps where you get to speak with, you know, either the manager on site or someone who lost a physical location. Because different types of places may have different sensitivity right to Hey, is the beacon visible? Is it not visible? Can we put it on a wall, which already has some noise, so that doesn't stand out? What you say some people might not care, they might be like, it's fine to put the beacon here to drive through no one is necessarily looking at for.

    Steve Statler 11:24

    So is the science of a essential because I imagine that's you know, that costs money, you have to stay in the five star hotel, have the big expensive count the expensive steak dinners? Do people try and avoid the site survey? Is that permissible?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 11:39

    It's off late. I think people now understand clearly that it is it is it is essential because of the fact that again, with beacons, it's not like, hey, we installed it in one stadium. So now every stadium in the world can just follow these guidelines, right? So people see the value. And hey, if you are investing in beacons or location to be a core part of your, you know, mobile app or technology stack is good to do it right. The small investment in the site survey helps them understand exactly what they need for their space. And as I said, in the site survey, it may not just be for a specific use case, it also understands them to have guidelines or notes for when they decide to scale later. Right? If we have 50 beacons tomorrow, we're gonna have 100. If we have 300, they've already spent the time and investment effort to go look at their physical side and see how do beacons behave in their physical space?

    Steve Statler 12:30

    Do you need a floor plan is that an essential?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 12:32

    Floor plans is sometimes useful? Definitely. Right. Especially at least, you know, if you're having very initial discussions on how many beacons may be needed, how does the space look? It does come in handy, especially for again, things like convention centers or museums, if especially not, in some cases, the museum, hey, something might be being built, right? It's not yet ready. So we start off with a floor plan together, just just okay, how would a beacon install look like or at least estimate, give them a ballpark? But most times they have been assigned surveys? What gives them the most information they need?

    Steve Statler 13:06

    And I'm imagining, again, it comes back to the use case, if you just want to know presence is the person in the store? Maybe you don't need us a floor plan for that. Exactly. But if you want wayfinding in then it's like you got the plan.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 13:19

    Right. I mean, if you look at a convenience store to detect presence, one maybe two beacons gives you okay, I know when they walk in the store, versus are they looking at soda or candy at that, at that level? It becomes okay, you need more specificity and more granular detail.

    Steve Statler 13:33

    And typically, where do you get that full plan from?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 13:37

    That's typically store apps will have it store apps or you know, operations teams who are managing these locations, we'd have it things can get interesting, because you get into some scenarios where it's franchise own, you may not even have store players, or you may not have up to date store plans, things change. So that's why a floor plan is not exactly like a must have, it's very useful. But typically, if you at least, you know, you can say okay, these three or four sites will cover our bulk of our, you know, locations nationwide or worldwide. And that that definitely is more helpful.

    Narration 14:11

    Okay, good. So we've been talking about planning, and that's kind of getting a sense of what are the use cases doing some sizing exercises driven by numbers. Anything else you want to say on sizing? Anything that goes into that sizing equation?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 14:24

    Yeah, I mean, bite of planning. I think you have some notes, which we'll discuss later, as well, as you know, part of planning is is that you have having a bind or having clear communication to even folks who might be working, you know, in the in the location who might not be necessarily involved in the digital strategy for the organization. You know, you're just conveying a this this is what beacons are for. This is what they're going to help achieve. And it's unique buying from us physical location, orange, because, hey, it's more you have to it's motivation for them as well. Yeah. Okay. I need to spend some energy and time installing these beacons making sure it's done right.

    Steve Statler 14:58

    Okay. So we got our flow Plan, we've done a site survey, we know what the use cases are, we've come up with an estimate that's driven by the use cases and the people. Maybe you for proof of concept, but more likely to be store ups. What about third parties? I remember that's one of the areas we looked at, are there? Are we seeing companies that third party companies that will do this? Because you don't have 500? People in advance?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 15:22

    Absolutely, absolutely. We are seeing third parties as well, we typically work with, again, within our enterprise customers, they will typically you will always have a list of you know, authorized third parties that are already in their vendor management system, that are approved vendors to do other things in the store, we will also be will help train them because it keeps costs down for them. And it's an existing vendor versus getting completely someone new on board. So we will work with them as well, you know, to help train them. And then at that point, it helps them because now they have all the knowledge. Yes, with the third party vendors tomorrow, say phase one, they decided to go to 500 locations in phase two is 2000. Now their third party vendor has all the information needed to now go and do the work for them.

    Steve Statler 16:07

    So if you've got someone who's doing maintenance on the point of sale system, might as well have them do this as well. Okay, so we've got people we've got planning, what about placement? How do you figure out where to put these things?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 16:21

    So that's interesting, right, as I said, some of it can significantly depend on the type of location, if it's a really nice museum, you just can't go put sticking beacons in the wall versus for a quick service restaurant or no, they may be less sensitive to the visibility of the beacon itself. As a rule of thumb, we actually almost always recommend you know, beacons are not devices that need to stand out and be in the face of the consumer, they're serving a purpose. So typically, we always try and find the spaces that will be less intrusive with the physical space, we'll look for spaces that you know, there's already noise on the wall, as we would say, you know, the access points alarm detect, you know, fire alarm, some other stuff that is also always on the walls, again, primarily driven by use case, what's the use case, because that's the primary incentive is to hit to do it right is to will it meet my use case, and then is looking at sensitivity around the place, you know, maybe it's an historical place, maybe it's a nice and bright. So VIP is really not going to go put a beacon that is going to stand out.

    Steve Statler 17:24

    Right. So this is really getting on to another P, which is presentation and part of presentation is do I have to hide these things? Correct? Correct. So with placement, let's just drill down into that a little bit more. So let's talk about ceilings. Because I have this client, yeah, they've got a warehouse, the ceilings are 30 feet tall. Can I stick my beacons in the 30 feet above everyone else out of everyone's way, no one's going to be stealing those. That's got to be a factor, how can I keep them out of people's sticky mats, because you haven't too low, people are going to steal them. But it's 30 feet too high, is there such a thing as too high?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 18:05

    There is such a thing as too high. And it actually especially gets interesting, where you go to, you know, multi level structures, and very few put it too high, you might see bleed on the top floor, and you may not realize it, because you're testing on the first floor, everything looks great, you move on. And then what if you don't make it to the spot on the floor or bow and you're seeing the beacon from the first floor. So that could break the use case practically. So there is something solid to hide, typically, we recommend beacons, you know, installing beacons about seven to eight or 10 feet high at the most don't go too high, that allows you to detect, you know, presence of the user within that location with good accuracy. And it also helps prevent bleed. Now, you might not always be able to avoid bleed just because of the nature of the physical location. That's when we get into things like you know, you might increase the density of beacons, you might create a denser becomes, you know, coverage in the in a particular area. So that, at some point, it doesn't matter if I see more than one beacon, or if I see beacons from the other area, if I can create a signal density that allows me to differentiate between areas. And you know, in the platform, we also provide a waiver for different areas, you can specify the density at which someone has to see the beacon for them to be recognized that they are there. So that allows them to get away with Hey, doesn't matter if I'm in the case department. And I'm seeing, you know, seeing beacons from No Man's apparel, for example, the density of the kids department beacons are significantly higher. So I'm just going to ignore those other beacons. I see.

    Steve Statler 19:38

    So this is really where the value add comes in from your beacons supply. It's not enough to just say, Oh, I'm going to use the native iBeacon signal was his life's more complicated then.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 19:50

    Absolutely right. I mean, it's not enough to say that if I see this beacon I can assume I'm here, right because in a physical space, you know, you might always see more than the you know, because Some other areas in the store. And that's why the way we built it was to handle it in the software, because another way of doing it is, you could go and reconfigure each beacon to reduce its range. That doesn't scale. Because now first of all, you're adding time to reconfigure each one of these beacons. And tomorrow, if your use case changes, that means you have to send someone back out to reconfigure them again.

    Steve Statler 20:23

    Yeah, and you just broken the first use case. So to have higher the footfall broadcast volume, as it were, and deal with it in software. What about do you find people steal beacons? Is that a problem? Do you have to worry about like securing them so that people don't do that?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 20:41

    We've had, we've seen a couple of odd cases, it's not that more than stealing, per se, it might be someone grabbed it, because they didn't know what it was. And at that point, it's just an unknown device, which may be a security threat, which may be just someone thinking, Hey, what's this? You know, what's this device for? So it's, I don't know if it's stealing their beacon because it's, but we have seen beacons sort of disappear, right? And so that's what that's also another reason why we would you know, recommended keep it out of reach, we do have things in the platform that allow our customers to know when a beacon has moved, okay, so they can actually tag the beacon with a particular location. And then if it's being cited by devices in a completely different location, that can be a flag for them that this doesn't look right.

    Steve Statler 21:26

    Okay, let's move on to our next p, which is propagation, which is like one of the trickier things, isn't it? It's like, on one hand, I mean, people always talk about oh, what's the what's the range of the speaker? And like, that's the only problem. But actually, that isn't the only problem, the problem is actually almost too much range. And that is correct signals bouncing around? How do you deal with that?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 21:46

    Yeah, so. So that's what you know, that's why site surveys are important. Because, you know, you might have tested a beacon in a lab, and you know, what to expect at different distances from the beacon. But that same beacon might look completely different in a sports stadium, and might look completely different in retail store and quick service restaurant. That's where a site survey comes in, is because you know, you have concrete, metal, steel, you have all these structural materials that will impact how we can be seen by devices. And so that's, you know, bid site survey, it allows us to cater it to a specific place, or a type of place, or even a specific place and come up with recommendations. And in some cases, you know, it doesn't happen as often. But in some cases, it may be that, hey, the use case needs to be adjusted, because the physical location does not allow that, you know, that use case to be implemented, because it may not be possible to get that level of signal propagation that you intended to.

    Steve Statler 22:42

    And do you have tools and techniques you can use to actually shape the signal is that viable.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 22:48

    So we have tools to sort of measure the signal stand that allows someone to, you know, capture some notes and enter it into the system for reference on how the app is going to behave. We have seen some people get innovative as well, trying to, you know, shape, putting it putting them in, you know, metal boxes to sort of block off signal on the sides, so they can shape the signal. The beacons themselves also Gimbal because themselves do also have a optional software selectable antenna, which is you know, the directional antenna versus the default omnidirectional antenna, which is useful in some scenarios as well. So we have seen cases like you know, if someone's trying to put them in the gas pump, and they want to watch signal going on, as fuel dispenser one and two on each side, and they don't want they want different beacons for depending on which side of the pump you are. So that also has, we have seen.

    Steve Statler 23:38

    Do remember trips to Home Depot to give me that use case worked. And it worked. This box from Home Depot actually allowed us to separate one side of the pump to the from the other pump. And I think one one of my favorite images in the book is actually a picture of a doughnut a real doughnut, because I couldn't afford to buy the fancy picture from electrical engineer of the shape of the beacon signal, but I think it's worth pointing out to people what we say omni directional, but it's not a perfect circle is it's not and what are the implications of that?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 24:12

    Correct. I mean, it's not a perfect circle. And so some of it will always depend on the actual physical space, you know, sometimes spoke things like, hey, fault plays, to be clear, I'm just gonna capture everyone in front of the beacon, you might not realize you might be catching people, especially in the retail scenario where, you know, there's, there's departments and things all around the beacon. So it's not, it's not exactly, you know, judge someone's standing in front of the beacon. The beacon itself by default is omnidirectional, where, you know, it's literally all around the beacon, but there may be some dead spots, and that's what you need to test for.

    Steve Statler 24:48

    And that's why fuel pointing the whole of the donor and you think, Oh, this is great. I'm like firing like on Star Trek, this phaser beam, it just doesn't work like that. And you may need to adjust by 90 degrees or whatever. So the signal actually is going.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 25:01

    Sometimes putting it in a concrete wall might help because at that point, you're practically, you know, you're blocking off the signal from spilling sort of behind the beacon. So that is also, you know, again, depends on the physical space, we usually recommend different things that will work for the use case.

    Steve Statler 25:16

    And so let's talk briefly about the impact of materials. You know, what is what, what can you run through very quickly, what the impact is of different kinds of materials are the constituents?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 25:30

    I mean, typically, you know, I think, see things like glass lashes, okay, yeah, normal glass, if it's really take security level class, that can be a problem, but not classes typically.

    Steve Statler 25:40

    Okay, maybe if it's got a metallic tint?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 25:43

    A problem, what is also typically okay, you don't see, you know, necessarily issues with a concrete concrete is, a signal is not going to go through concrete. So that, that you have to keep in mind.

    Steve Statler 25:56

    Which can be a good thing, we none of this is good or bad. It's just understanding what's going to happen.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 26:01

    Metal is interesting as well, metal is one of the more challenging things is because in some scenarios, it might make a use case, because you might have reflection of signal all over the place. And now you have unintended consequences. Versus sometimes you can, you know, you can choose a location where the whole, you know, structure can become an antenna for you, because of the metal characteristics. And that might work in your favor. It all depends on the space. But typically, you know, things like board class, or another rule of thumb is, you know, if life can shine through, that usually is going to be okay, your beacon signal is going to come through and you'll be able to see the beacon.

    Steve Statler 26:35

    All right, very good. We could talk a lot more on this, we won't, that. It's really interesting set of problems to solve. Let's talk about a problem that, you know, maybe this is trivial. Maybe it isn't, but we put it in the book, which was procurement. And I just wanted to send sensitize people to thinking ahead and not expecting that you can figure out who your beacon vendor is, and then expect them to deliver 10,000 beacons within a couple of weeks. Probably not a good idea.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 27:05

    Yeah. So procurement is, you know, another thing that we do, which, you know, a lot of enterprise customers expect is, you know, as you said, typically is it doesn't work where you're just sending 20,000 beacons to warehouse, and then they have to take care of labeling each one of these putting them in separate boxes, sending them to different locations. So we actually do that for our customers. You know, while we are working with them, in the site, survey initial phases, deciding how deployment is going to look like, then we structure with them, Okay, how many beacons per side, we will even typically label them so that someone on the side receiving the beacons has clear guidelines on how it says entrance, this says a parallel or whatever that that is, we typically also work on our instruction, you know, one pager, which is what the beacon is for images are the best, you know, work better than even writing simple instructions. This is what a beacon does is how it looks, this is how to operate a beacon. Folks who do it best will also invest and put some information on their intranet sites. So that way the store ops people can go and log in. And maybe there's a brief tutorial or no brief explanation on what these devices are. Typically, they will also hold internal webinars to explain their teams about hey, what are these new devices and how they're going to be a critical part of their strategy moving forward. So in terms of procurement, you know, we would build these things, we call this beacon kits, which would go to different locations, which would include all the beacons would be labeled, and it will include a one or two pager instruction sheet, which typically have some images, which will tell them, how do you know how to place the speakers.

    Steve Statler 28:38

    So all this takes time. So advanced notice a because you know, if there's too, you just shouldn't assume that all the beacons is going to be available period. And you also need to think about the delivery and the supply chain and all that preparation,

    Siddharth Panigrahi 28:53

    when you're sending it to so many locations, even installation, you have to give yourself some buffer because not everyone had this while you can communicate that this is a priority. Everyone at the physical location does, you know, associates or managers, their first thing, they're not going to just jump at the chance of I got my beacons, I'm gonna go replace them. They have other things to start through. So yeah, I have to build in some buffer time at a this may be installed over a period of two weeks or three weeks. Yeah, right. That could also take time.

    Steve Statler 29:20

    We could riff on that. But it's a real eye opener, you realize that technology isn't the top of everyone's priority list. And they don't necessarily love the opportunity to play with this stuff. You gotta you've got to think about that. And that's really kind of touches on one of the soft tissues that we've got one of the 10 PS is permission. So I think, you know, we in an ideal world, you'd kind of get the order from your client and you'd ship the beacons to the site and they get installed and everything's okay. But actually, you have to ask permission from not just one person, maybe quite a few. Can you talk to that?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 29:54

    Yeah, absolutely. And you know, permissions gets more I'll use the word interesting when you installing in public places, maybe it's transit areas, because at that point, you know, you might have real world you might be speaking to security people, you're not you have people guarding the site or police, you know, you have to make sure you have the right paperwork, you have the right permissions. That's why communication is key as well, you know, even when you're going into a retail store, as I said, they have other priorities and other challenges on on hand that they have to solve. So it's always good to know that some prior communication has been done, all you have the right contacts, which maybe it's a name, they recognize that know, Hey, Steve has, has given us approval, this is a email or this is some documents and then almost devious, for example, right? It definitely helps to have that level of the lesser explaining you have to do on site, the easier your life becomes.

    Steve Statler 30:45

    Yeah. And I think some clients will just, they'll already be on top of that others may need to prompt and and you know, one of the things that struck me was sometimes this can even get up to board level, talking about an airport, which is run by a bunch of politicians, they probably need to know that there are these beacons going in, because what if some press person makes a big deal over the privacy? And so it's kind of pre briefing that those the political stakeholders you've got. And that means also marketing and PR, and the janitorial staff, the security staff, and it's just a huge list.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 31:25

    I mean, for example, if you're installing something of a Super Bowl there, a lot of stuff is happening over a day or two day time period, because not hey, they actually literally have a couple of days to put up all the infrastructure for a whole week log event. They're multiple vendors in the space doing work, it's good to have the right paperwork to show anyone. It's a high security event, high visibility event. So it's important to have the right paperwork and the right information to show as to why these devices are going up in the space.

    Steve Statler 31:50

    But what about public notices? Are we at A and we actually just had our session on privacy. But I'd love to within the lawyers answer to this, we'll see if the the feet on the street agree with the lawyer. Do you think that we should be putting notices up like we do for closed circuit TV cameras, letting people know that there are beacons around or is that going over the top?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 32:17

    That may or may not be essential primarily because the beacons themselves unlike security cameras to Beacon themselves are soo more or less just to a large extent reliant on someone installing an app? Yes, which has already conveyed to them the kind of information that is being captured if a device spots a beacon. So beacon itself is not necessarily capturing information about the users in the space, right? The beacon is transmitting information. So if the mobile app has the privacy policies covered, that that usually will take care of it. The notice part may only come in again, in maybe public transit areas were here at that point, you know, it's not necessarily a location owned by, you know, a private party here. It's a public location. So that might be more useful. From a security standpoint, we just, you know, have a either, you know, we've seen things done like, hey, if it's a count label on the weekend, it says, For any questions, visit our website, or call this number. That also works sometimes where you can just put a label on the beacon if someone has questions around that beacon. Or you could put privacy notices, but typically label will help not just achieve that, or, as I said, in most cases, and it's dependent on apps, if an app is clearly conveyed, that you may get away with without having, you know, public notices.

    Steve Statler 33:29

    That is an interesting point, the bar may be higher if it's a public place, rather than a program. Exactly. Let's talk about process. So it seems pretty simple. You have your beacon, you stick it on the wall job done. But actually, I mean, you talked about part of you touched on this when you said we might label a beacon and tell them where to put it. And we talked in the book about, I think, three different approaches to this variations of planning in advance and telling people where to put it, putting the beacon up and then saying, Well, you recorded this permutations here, which is there a right way of doing it.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 34:13

    So the best way, the best way is or then the best way doesn't always happen. But the best way is always you know, after the site survey, you've worked with operations teams to define what their know, the associates of the managers, the folks at the locations are comfortable with in terms of a process that has been followed previously, to either install existing infrastructure, or you know, do some work that was done across all locations, to work with them to get it to a language that everyone can learn to be comfortable for everyone to understand. And then, you know, you would label them. We have things in the system where we would tag them with the location so it allows owners to know because at the end of the day, you can put the labels you want. You can send the document, but it's humans installing these and you can't necessarily prevent someone from installing Right, if he can mistakenly in the wrong place, right. So we do have some things in the system that allows folks to also know if a beacon has been cited by at the wrong location. But typically a label itself and the instructions and the webinars helps achieve at least get as much accuracy as possible.

    Steve Statler 35:19

    And I think the last P is presentation. So that's that will be our 10th. P. We've talked about this a little bit. But where are you? Where do you see people on the spectrum of let's make this beacon disappear? Shala Apple, you know, there's no secret there Gimbal beacons in the Apple Store. And most Gimbal beacons are white. But there's those ones are silver. So we've seen that I've heard the folks that Estimote argue you want to make these things really stand out, because that means that everyone knows that it's a beacon. And then the other thing that I'm starting to see is people actually putting their own brand on there, like the London Underground logos on that shirt. What are you seeing, as far as where are people coming down on? Do they want something that's discreet?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 36:07

    Mostly people are, you know, you look at them as mostly people, most of us have beacons going places where they're not actually standing out to folks. With that said, you know, in some scenarios, if it's a nice looking concert venue, or if it's a, you know, historic space, they would want even the minor detail, like, hey, I want the beacon paint to match the paint of the wall, it's going on which we have, you know, which has happened in the past as well. So we would you know, people in pain, those beacons because the beacons can be painted no problem at all, as long as you don't use any metallic paint. Really, yeah. But you know, they can be painted, we've seen folks put sticker set for public areas, it's actually works out great if you put a sticker because then it looks, you know, it's official equipment, you know whom to contact, we've seen folks put, you know, we also allow, you know, for different beacons, you actually can specify a contact point. So you might have an email address off the manager of owner of an area distributor, so you know, whom to call for questions. So branding them in at some level does help with more about how if someone has questions around the device, because at the end of the day, it's it's a box, you know, it's a device sitting there. As I said, the more magic is in the software and the app. So we haven't necessarily, you know, seen people wanting to make them pretty. Because when you go to any location, you know, there's so much physical noise in the space. The beacon itself is not the one that is going to glorify the place, the beacon is, again, there to serve a purpose for them, you know, full digital experience for the users in that space.

    Steve Statler 37:39

    Well, we've covered a lot. We've talked about planning, placement, propagation, procurement, permission, privacy, process, presentation, and people. That's pretty good. Do we miss anything out?

    Siddharth Panigrahi 37:50

    No, I think I mean, as much as it's, you know, sometimes it's always bashing on the one thing he always says is Test, test and test like anything in a year rolling out a, you know, on you, you know, feature in your app, you're putting beacons in the space, app developer is not always talking to the person who's putting the beacons is not always, you know, talking to the definitely probably not talking to the owner in the space, who is dealing with, Hey, these are this is the flow of people I see. This is how people navigate in the space. But some of that is also important to know, there's multiple ways to get in how do people navigate in the space. So that's why you know, testing is important. So that, especially for, you know, in some cases for, you know, you know, for sports events, or concerts, you might not have too many chances to get it right. You might, it might be a fits a conference, it might just be a weekend event, if it's, you know, a sports, you know, if it's the NFL, you have eight home games a season typically. So hey, you might not have too many chances to get it right. So it's always best to run some tests, distributed, or at least you know, a test version of the app as soon as possible to someone on site who can run around on their device, confirm expected behavior, so that you don't see any surprises when it's, you know, Primetime when it's time to go live.

    Steve Statler 39:00

    Those are a couple of good points there. So there's an interaction between the logistics, the placement and the software developer. And that's probably there's gonna be mistakes. And that's why you need to do the testing. So that's a really good point. The other thing that I didn't think of is the Super Bowl versus the McDonald's deployment. You probably want to have you can't have someone from your beacon supply on site, probably at every McDonald's, but you probably want to have someone on site at the Superbowl.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 39:32

    No, yeah, exactly. Because again, as I said, short events, Hey, you want to get it right. You don't you might not get the second chance. It's always best to have someone who understands the whole technology stack to provide you with some feedback again, hopefully the testing has happened before the person is on site, because that a that also has its own challenges of fixing it with the App Store reviews that can take time to make updates. But yeah, testing absolutely gives you the best chance of success.

    Steve Statler 39:58

    I hope if not thing else, we've convinced people that there's actually quite a lot to getting this right. It's the area where you can end up spending a lot of money just because people are involved. And it's an area that's absolutely critical to the success of the project. So I think that's a great advert for making sure that your beacon vendor has got loads of experience. And so that's another thing to think about when you're selecting your beacon vendor. Absolutely. Okay said you've been really generous. Thank you very much for your time. I know you're super busy. And I think we should just I'd love to get feedback from people that are watching. If anyone's made it to the end. We'd love to hear from you. There's lots of experience out there. Share your experience with us. Give us your feedback. And if you have been thanks for watching. Thank you all right. You not really into music much.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 41:06

    I'm not I mean, I listen to music growing up in Mumbai. I listen to mostly Bollywood music, but I really, but now Yeah, I mean, I'm a big sports buff. So if I had to pick something to carry with me, it probably will be some sports videos that I treasure. Either is my favorite team or snow or the Indian cricket team, for example.

    Steve Statler 41:23

    Well, the Arsenal I've got a may have made some records in the past. I'm just trying to think back because I used to live next to the foreground. They do a lot of singing there.

    Siddharth Panigrahi 41:33

    So yeah, and it is in the past unfortunately. They haven't been doing well for years, but now Yeah. Okay.

    Steve Statler 41:39

    Well, so some some sports videos and maybe the Arsenal Football Club. Yeah, I mean, the arsenal and one of them that is my memory of them is having riot police and Alsatian dogs barking so that's my audio memory of that. Okay.