At the recently concluded RFID Journal Live event (where we announced Spotlight, and Microsoft featured our customer Toll Global Logistics in the opening keynote), a really fun thing we also did was partner with Impinj to provide the ‘Guest Experience’ application for their party.
Here’s how it worked – every attendee who walked in to the door with their ‘pit pass’ (a RFID enabled tag) would be welcomed (there were folks who were pre-registered and new folks who would be signed up at the entrance), and they automatically got entered into a drawing for an iPad at the end of the day via a drawing. A big screen projector displayed all entrants with a revolving Spotlight that bounced around the screen before the winner was picked, and there was also a verification station where attendees could walk up wave their badges and get greeted.
From an implementation perspective, I have to say this was probably the fastest production app I’ve ever seen built in such a short period of time which is a testament to the base capabilities of the Spotlight product (which was customized for the Guest experience app) but also to the kick-butt engineering team we have here at S3Edge (take bow you guys!) – not to forget the great HW platform that Impinj provides 🙂
Now if you are wondering what the fuss is (around the production readiness of the app), consider the following:
- There were multiple read points doing different things that needed to be monitored and managed in a distributed environment (commissioning at the entrance, reading attendees as they walked by via the new Impinj portal, and the verification station) <easy enough to handle through Spotlight’s inbuilt scalability features and declarative device profile and management support>
- The app was a multi-tenet ‘hosted’ app with the different web-based screens on different machines (the verification, contest winner, welcome gate, and the command center) which meant the various web-clients needed to be managed across a distributed environment <if you’ve built a pub-sub based distributed application you know what I am talking about in terms of the gnarly issues that needed to be designed for :)>
- A command-center to monitor all client and device activity and troubleshoot in real-time
- A commissioning app that handled new guests, and old guests who forgot their passes both via web-based and Microsoft Excel based import <handling all the data consistency (or inconsistencies :)) in a fail-proof manner>
- A way to upload data via MS Excel
- A way to visualize the layout via a map, zones, and reader bindings
- Last but not the least, a scalable way to manage an unknown no. of attendees <end result was 300+ folks <who were all accommodated with no issues whatsoever thanks to Spotlight’s enterprise-ready runtime>
Here are a few screen-shots to show you how the app worked behind the scenes <Note that all of the underlying capabilities are driven by Spotlight technology with Guest Experience screens being the customizations atop the product>
The layout screen with map of room overlaid with zones (read-stations) and their bindings as well as zone logs
The verification screen client (in non full screen mode) with the Impinj screen-save in the background) – this was running separately at the verification station and you can also see the other screens on the left)
The command screen client (in non full screen mode) which was the monitoring center
The New-guest registration screen client (in non full screen mode) which allowed new guests to be registered and added to the already existing DB of folks who were attending the party
And here are some live images from the party to complement the above:
The Welcome screen at the entrance as registrants walked by
The party in full-flow with the winner pick screen client in the background
A closer look a the Winner pick screen with the yellow Spotlight bouncing around the list of registered attendees
And the winner is… <Yep – Spotlight even managed to smoke out the person from OAT Systems ;)>
Lots of good fun overall, and I am really proud to say that Spotlight came through with flying colors and no glitches whatsoever – another testament to this new and exciting technology that’s changing the face (and ROI profile) of scalable, enterprise-ready RFID solutions.
Drop me a line if you’d like to know more or have any questions.