WiFi Survey Software Review: Ekahau for iPhone
Earlier this month, market experts Ekahau launched their latest WiFi survey software update, making Ekahau Survey available on iPhones as well as iPads. Currently Ekahau offer the only enterprise standard WiFi survey tool for mobile devices including tablets.
Our in-house wireless engineer Stewart put the latest update to the test at a construction site WiFi survey last week in the Netherlands. Here are his thoughts:
1. Augmented Reality Improves Usability
The most noteworthy update from the newest version of Ekahau Connect is the ‘Auto Pilot’ survey feature. Traditionally, survey engineers would have to plot their location on a floor plan, walk in a straight line, then plot their location again when they change direction. Auto Pilot allows the engineer to plot their initial location and, using Augmented Reality, walk the entirety of their client’s site without having to re-plot their location with every change of direction. This speeds up survey readings by 33% and ensures more accurate survey results because the software measures the engineer’s walking speed and current location in real-time. This also means the data produced can form a better WiFi network design. “It made a highly accurate and informative survey much, much easier to conduct” says Stewart.
2. Forget Worrying About Pace
The update also means that changes in the engineer’s walking pace do not affect readings, which proved invaluable on a large site where – like most – walking speed cannot be kept steady due to doorways, traffic (human or automotive!), cramped spaces or areas with lots of obstructions.
3. Improved Accuracy
The latest update also allows heatmaps to show very minor changes in direction that couldn’t be seen with Ekahau Connect without manual intervention by the engineer. The previous iteration of the software would attribute readings to a straight line, even if the engineer had deviated from this path to move around an obstruction.
The newest version of Ekahau Connect tracks these deviations using augmented reality and attributes readings to the actual walked route rather than the planned route. This ensures that a new network can be designed with fewer inaccuracies or unaccounted for obstructions.
4. Survey Equipment is Lighter for Travel
Ekahau for iPhone reduces the amount of equipment an engineer needs to take to surveys, which is an appreciated update, especially when travelling overseas!
5. Site Surveys are Safer to Coduct
Autofiring readings means surveyors can focus on their direction and surroundings. So many of our WiFi surveys take place in busy environments like warehouses, where accidents can happen easily. “I spent far less time thinking about where I was going to walk and more time thinking about potential issues with an existing solution, or a suitable design for a new wireless solution” says Stewart.
So are there any limitations of the upgrade? Stewart says yes: “although this update will be fantastic in most situations, tight spaces may be more difficult. In these locations I’ll probably be reverting back to the other methods of survey that Ekahau Connect provides”.
If you would like more information on the range of WiFi surveys we offer internationally, please head to our WiFi Surveys page to get in touch.