2 thoughts on “Two More Engagement Platforms Hit The WLAN Market

  1. Keith R. Parsons

    Set Soapbox = ON

    Everytime I read more about the ways people are trying to turn Wi-Fi into another way to intrude on our lives it makes me a bit sad. Sad that people would dream up ways to do things to others they would NEVER want done to themselves.

    I bet most who work on such project NEVER want to share their own personal data, have companies inject data into your Internet stream, or enjoy having Captive Portals slow down and hassle themselves at every turn.

    Yet, ironically, they are proposing… nay – promoting doing it to others and charging a boatload of money to do it.

    So, no. I’m not thrilled with the entire ‘engagement’ view of Wi-Fi.

    My simple take is public Wi-Fi Internet access should be Fast, Free, and Easy.

    You don’t see companies trying to ‘monetize’ their escalators, or elevators, or security, or garbage collection, or any of a number of freely provided public services. Why abuse your customers via Wi-Fi, you don’t do it when you provide all those other services.

    Could you imagine a world where the escalator vendors and salespersons tried to sell their products on the basis of ‘monetization’? It is ludicrous in that world, it should be just as ludicrous in the Wi-Fi world.

    Set Soapbox = OFF

  2. wirednot Post author

    Hi Keith, thanks for reading, and for commenting.

    From the end-user perspective, I too cringe at the way these platforms are frequently marketed and the fairly callous and tacky way individual end users are equated to little more than two-legged sheep with fat wallets that ought to be willing to give up a slew of data in exchange for a coupon, or directions to the latrine. I think some marketing types are so deep into the buzzword pool that they don’t consider how offensive it can all come across, and your labeling of the situation as “sad” in this regard is dead on, to me.

    From the technology perspective, I have looked at really beneficial uses for indoor mapping and location analytics, like for handicap routing around a challenging facility and bringing simple efficiencies and better safety to the likes of warehouses and port facilities by improving traffic flow. These are the things that jazz me when it comes to many of the same underpinnings used to monitize and incentivize (both largely mean to take advantage of users’ ignorance, in my mind) end users.

    I will give Aruba credit as their press release made a compelling case for how this sort of technology might get used in a hospital for patient benefit, with no obvious “and you make a shitload of money off ;’em, too!” edge to the description.

    Whether we like them or agree with the motives, this is a ship that has sailed, bigtime.



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