Cisco, Aruba and Juniper are unwrapping new applications and services aimed at helping organizations safely re-open their facilities when due to the COVID-19 pandemic permits.\nIn Cisco\u2019s case, the company is adding applications to its DNA Spaces mobile location services platform that uses WiFi analytics to let customers see how spaces are being used in real-time.\u00a0 The idea, Cisco says, is to let customers measure how many people are in a space at the same time and use that real-time data to close off buildings when they reach capacity. By being able to look at trends over time, facility managers can make smarter decisions on how to arrange offices and set appropriate cleaning schedules, Cisco says.\nDNA Spaces is comprised of Cisco\u2019s Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) wireless suite and enterprise geolocation technology purchased from July Systems in 2018. Cisco CMX is a software engine that analyzes location and other intelligence gleaned from Cisco wireless infrastructure to help deliver services to customers on their mobile devices. July technology included an enterprise-grade location platform which includes instant customer activation, data-driven behavioral insights, a contextual rules engine and APIs. The package supports any Catalyst, Aironet, or Meraki wireless access points.\nDNA Spaces also provides businesses with analytics about who and what are in their physical locations along with the ability to act on those insights in real-time, Cisco said.\nThe platform works with multiple technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Beacons or GPS to sense the user\u2019s device with or without an app installed.\nWith DNA Spaces customers will be able to see not just which spaces like department stores, waiting rooms, cafeterias are being used and when, but also where people come from to get to those rooms, how long they stay in them, what data resources they use and where they go after they leave, Cisco says.\n\u201cThe key data we can watch is how behavior changes as we allow more people back into the office over the weeks and months of a return-to-office program. In particular, we can determine if there is an occupancy load at which people start to cluster, breaking distance guidelines,\u201d wrote Scott Harrell, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco\u2019s Intent-based Networking Group in a blog.\u00a0 \u201cIf and when this happens, a company can work on reconfiguring hot-spot locations, educating employees, dialing back the number of people allowed into the office, or a combination of mitigations.\u201d\nCisco has added a service it calls DNA Spaces Right Now that tracks new devices that enter a space when they connect to Wi-Fi.\u00a0 By tracking which access points are able to electronically \u201csee\u201d them, it can tell which part of the building they are in, Harrell stated.\nIn comparison, data from access-card badge-in records can tell how many people enter a building and when, but that doesn't tell which parts of a building people use or when they leave, Harrell stated.\u00a0 \u00a0\u201cWith Wi-Fi, we can gather much more robust data that tracks how people use, move, and occupy spaces throughout the day.\u201d\nCisco has also added an indoor IoT Sensor-as-a-Service that lets customers manage Bluetooth enabled IoT devices such as asset trackers for identifying, inventorying, onboarding, grouping, and applying policy-based configurations to those devices.\u00a0\nHarrell said customers can use DNA Spaces Impact Analysis app to determine how buildings and campuses are being used, not just how much they are being used. The application generates reports on time spent in the office, building utilization, and other metrics that could inform how workplaces might be reconfigured to reduce risk.\n\u201cWe think these tools will be especially important for buildings that are used by visitors and guests, like stores and schools,\u201d Harrell stated.\nHarrell said Cisco is looking to add other capabilities to track whose devices they are moving around a given space. "This more granular data would let employers contact specific employees and inform them of potential COVID-19 exposure, if necessary," Harrell stated. "Such \u00a0features will always be optional, and data collected in a company\u2019s private network will always belong solely to the company that owns the network and DNA Spaces currently does not offer contact tracing to tell precisely who is near whom,\u201d he stated.\nOther networking vendors are looking at contact-tracing features in addition to looking for ways to ease the return of employees to the workplace.\u00a0\nFor example, Aruba says it will release a new set of native contact- and location-tracing tools for Aruba infrastructure customers using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.\u00a0\nThe company\u2019s third party ecosphere \u2013 including AiRISTA Flow, CXApp, Kiana Analytics, Modo Labs, and Skyfii\u00a0\u2013 will deliver a variety of Aruba-based social-distancing and group-size management applications.\nOthers such as such as\u00a0Envoy, will offer pre-registration, automated host notification, and auto-generated visitor Wi-Fi credentials, all with zero human-to-human contact, the company stated.\nAruba\u2019s technology partners are also looking to offer contactless thermographic solutions that measure forehead temperature of groups of people simultaneously. The offerings incorporate automated voice response and interfaces with access-control portals, Aruba stated.\n\u201cThe office will become increasingly smart using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IoT sensors, and other capabilities that were invested in during the COVID-19 reopening phase, but then may be repurposed to provide employee experience-enhancing applications, as well as security and crisis capabilities, should any type of health or other emergency resurface,\u201d Aruba stated.\nJuniper Mist\nMeanwhile, Juniper\u2019s Mist company is also looking to ease workplace safety in the COVID-19 environment.\u00a0\nThe company said it will offer a number of new features for its Mist access points and cloud services in conjunction with Wi-Fi- and\/or Bluetooth low energy-enabled devices such as phones and badges. For example it will enable proximity tracing that lets enterprises identify and notify other employees, guests or customers that may have been in close proximity to a person who has identified as Covid-19 positive onsite. \u00a0\nThe company will also offer a journey-mapping feature that can identify high-traffic hot zones so customers can reconfigure workspaces and deploy additional cleaning efforts to lower health risks, Juniper stated. \u00a0\n\u201cBy looking at the quantity of devices and locations in specific areas, enterprises can disperse or divert traffic away from congested areas with real-time, location-based alerting. They can also view trends over time to identify certain areas for proactive measures,\u201d Juniper stated.