BlueFox delivers several sensors, each with an integrated Wi-Fi radio. For the Count, Analyze, Convert, and Flow products, these sensors passively listen for Wi-Fi probes sent spontaneously by mobile phones. For the Engage product, the sensor broadcasts an access point and hosts a landing page that allows consumers to opt-in to location-based message delivery services.
|Power Source||Internet (Backhaul) Connectivity|
|Name of BlueFox sensor device||USB||PoE||RJ-45||Wi-Fi||Cellular|
Because these sensors are generally deployed behind firewalls, they are inaccessible from the internet. Periodically, the sensors reach out to BlueFox cloud servers over an encrypted channel to check for firmware updates.
The sensors provide consistent functionality, but differ from one another in two ways:
- Power delivery
- Internet backhaul technology
All sensors can be powered by a micro-USB connection (5V at 1A). Some sensors are powered by power-over-ethernet (PoE) connections. PoE is an attractive solution for power delivery for low-power devices like our sensors because running ethernet cables (cat-5, cat-5e, or cat-6) is generally far less expensive than running line-voltage wires (120v or 240v) with their attendant safety requirements (e.g. conduit).
BlueFox puts very little load on internet connectivity, uploading an average of 10MB/hour per sensor, sending compressed data over an encrypted channel. The volume of data will vary with the number of mobile phones detected in the space around the sensor.
Backhaul technology is most often provided via Ethernet. All BlueFox sensors offer this option via an RJ-45 port. Ethernet is reliable and inexpensive. BlueFox sensors, when powered up, look for a DHCP server to provide an IP address, name server addresses, and a gateway.
One alternative to ethernet is using cellular infrastructure for the Internet backhaul. The White Rhino sensor allows customers to provide their own SIM card, or to use a SIM card provided by BlueFox. Many vendors provide these SIM cards in most markets around the world.
Another alternative to Ethernet is Wi-Fi. Of the three backhaul technologies, Wi-Fi is the least reliable due to congestion on many networks.
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