Ekahau Version 9.2.0, which was released on June 29th, added three exciting new features that are worth talking about.
The new ‘Bluetooth Coverage’ visualization allows users to see what kind of coverage their BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) devices and beacons have, and how they overlap with each other. This will be welcome news for organisations that are using Bluetooth for services like location tracking or real-time marketing/notifications.
You can place APs with integrated BLE devices or add a new stand-alone BLE device type, which provides a choice of three Aruba beacons, or a generic beacon. This should be enough to get going with, but Ekahau will be expanding the list of devices over time. Ekahau Site Survey only supports predictive planning at the moment, with the promise of Bluetooth surveys further down the line.
The new ‘Coverage Planning’ visualization shows the coverage of an AP in real-time whilst it’s being moved on the map. The sub-visualisation of ‘Signal Strength’ provides a less detailed view of the areas which meet the coverage requirements, but allows you to quickly and easily choose the optimal spot for your AP without lots of trial and error.
Perhaps most exciting of all is the new “Interference Detection” feature. In a nut shell, this enables you to do a site survey whilst Ekahau looks for potential non-Wi-Fi sources of interference. Not only does it flag these for your attention, but by using pattern recognition it will also suggest what the device was (e.g. Video camera). The feature is still a work in progress, but has fantastic potential to become a potent troubleshooting tool.
This feature relies on the advanced spectrum resolution provided by the Ekahau Sidekick in order to work, so you must own a Sidekick to access this view.
To enable Interference Detection hold down the CTRL key (ALT for Mac users) and left-click on the Sidekick battery indicator. This enables a new ‘Show Interference’ option in the real-time frequency monitor (RTFM). If Ekahau finds a potential non-WiFi interference source it will flag it on the waterfall and frequency spectrum views for further investigation.
Ekahau 9.2.0 Demonstration
You can watch a 30 minute demonstration of the new features covered in this blog post in the video below. See the Ekahau website for a full list of changes in version 9.2.0.