Understanding Kontakt.io Software Products and How to Choose the Right one for your Project Needs

November 27, 2019

As the number of our dedicated software solutions grow, we thought it would be a good time to clarify some areas and precisely define what certain tools do and don’t cover. In particular, we’re going to look at a functionality that is commonly associated with one service, when in fact it’s supported by another part of our offer. 
We offer three primary software products. There’s:

  • The Kontakt.io Panel, which along with Infrastructure Management software subscription allows monitoring beacon health statistics and plan deployment's objective
  • Data Streams, another software subscription, provides the raw data that third party software applications can then turn into useful business insights or tracking capabilities. 
  • Finally, there’s Simon AI - the IoT Analytics Platform. Simon AI provides you with data insights that are collected through Kontakt.io or third party monitoring devices equipped with not only Bluetooth but also UWB or WiFi giving you a complete RTLS solution. 

In this post, we want to focus on how certain Kontakt.io software products are used for particular cases and how it is achieved. Specifically, we’re referring to where you set up, manage and follow asset & people tracking services and RTLS projects. Kontakt.io Panel is the place to go—after all, it is the central managing point for so many other aspects of beacon deployments—in fact tracking capabilities are organized through one of two other services, depending on if you’re working with your own solution or Kontakt.io’s out-of-the-box solution, Simon AI. 
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, we’re going to take a step back and get an overview of the basic beacon fleet and device management tools we provide and go over the primary roles and functionalities of the Kontakt.io Panel as well as the platforms required to take advantage of asset and people tracking services.  

The Kontakt.io Panel

Let’s start with the Kontakt.io Panel. Together with the Infrastructure Management software subscription, the Panel lets you plan beacons positions on a deployment map for configuration, management and deployment purposes remotely and in bulk. It’s important to stress here that the Panel has nothing to do with a complete asset tracking solution. The primary purpose of the Kontakt.io Panel is to help you manage your devices and inform you about the health (primarily in the form of battery status but also a beacon’s overall functionality) and record the data from last scan of beacon
With the Panel, you can identify devices that need to be serviced or replaced, onboard new devices and generally plan and support the beacon infrastructure. One of the most useful capabilities of the Panel is setting up alerts to let you know when your attention is needed. Alerts can be arranged for when a particular beacon has not been “seen” for a certain amount of time that you set or when battery power reaches a certain level. The Panel supports your deployment’s stable and consistent performance by providing a level of monitoring that is impossible with manual observation.  
Another important role of the Kontakt.io Panel is the Location module, which is highly recommended for the planning of any deployment, which starts with a floor plan of the area to be covered. This feature allows you to put virtual representations of the beacons and Kontakt.io gateways on a map. If you do this during the planning stage, you can share the map with your deployment team so they can use it as a guide for where devices should be mounted. 
In addition to helping you locate beacons that need to be serviced, updated or replaced, the Location view lets you:

  • Get a deployment location list overview 
  • Create your deployment location(s) on Google Maps
  • Upload floor plans (even for multi-floor buildings) into created geographical locations
  • Assign beacons and gateways to a created location and place them on the uploaded floor plans.

Which Software you Need for Tracking

Now that we’ve covered what doesn’t provide tracking services, let’s turn to what does. We’ll divide this part into two since your method for accessing tracking services depends on if you’re using your own software solution or Kontakt.io’s Simon AI. 
If you’re using your own software architecture, you’ll need a Data Stream software subscription. The data you receive from this service has to be stored on your side. There are two types of data contained in the subscription, the telemetry stream and the presence stream.
Telemetry data covers information related to the health and status of your beacons. This includes sensor data like temperature and humidity readings, battery level and three-dimensional acceleration information. Presence data includes distance information of beacons in the range of receivers or gateways and time-stamped data points by room or zone. 
The other option for live asset and people tracking is through Simon AI, Kontakt.io’s out-of-the-box complete IoT Analytics platform. 

Getting from Data Points to Real-Time Tracking

When you’re using your own software solution, you combine Infrastructure Management services together with a Data Stream subscription with your own triangulation logic to determine the live location of an asset. With this information, you can use your own visualization method to place people and assets on maps. 
If you don't want to build triangulation logic, you can still use Data Stream API to get the approximate distance of a beacon from the gateways and have a proximity-based location tracking solution. This is acceptable in most use cases.
With Simon, everything is simplified and streamlined. It’s a complete solution, combining Infrastructure Management, Data Stream, triangulation logic and GUI or API. This makes it easy to track people and assets right away, visible through the Simon interface. 
With Simon AI, tracking and analyzing the movement of assets in real time is greatly simplified. It delivers data insights that are collected via devices from Kontakt.io or third parties. Since Simon is hardware agnostic, it can easily integrate different technologies, like UWB, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc. It can even go a step further and make recommendations that better inform the decision-making process with regards to resource planning, operations, quality control and sales.

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