The system we built has made it through its maiden event and was still capturing reads
well into the later afternoon (until we got round to tearing it down….technically
called ‘Bump Out’….with all the moving bodies and parts, it’s no wonder they call
it Bump Out!)
I grabbed a couple of SilverLight screen shots to show what the system
is capable of – in the hectic pace of last week I didn’t manage to grab some
screen captures of the system in action, these screen shots come from the courtesy
Brown’s Blog (she is responsible for running MS Events in the UK + a founder/advocate
for Women in IT)
Walk-In Displays – these walk in displays were up on the big screens
as delegates entered/exited their sessions. Pretty cool!!!.
These screens are delivered via a browser and are what we call the ‘Walk-in’
Display. Here you can see 3 people leaving the room with the graph in the
background showing some delegate profiling data around attendance of previous TechEds.
Here we’ve got an enter and a leaving of the session. Something we didn’t get time
to do at this show was to play on the scope for customisations with these avatars.
We had over 120 textures + bitmap type surfaces set for this, but during the show
this ‘feature’ got bumped further down the list. (Hats, scarves, hair type, colours
etc. you know the stuff)
We had fun with a couple of names though – ‘@Coatsy’ was one, ‘The
Stig’ was another.
The beauty about these screens was that people outside the conference got real time
stats about the rooms and could see the ‘Walk-in’ displays in near real time. (Late
night trouble shooting with my friends in MS Corp – this proved a great tool)
In testing performance of our SL Services over the internet – I had a link to the
UK where we had a technician monitoring the various walk-in displays and giving feedback.
All worked pretty well.
(At this point we don’t have an upper limit on the number of individual ‘Walk-in’
display sessions that run concurrently – each open browser receiving events in near
realtime is an additional WCF Service instance + a SQL connection. Not sure how much
benefit SQL Connection pooling will give as these connections are active pretty much
all the time)
This screen is from the ‘Speaker Charts’ which are designed to give
the speaker various breakdowns of up to the minute information of their audiences.>
Overall the Breeze Boiler room (HQ) got great attendance from the
delegates wanting to know the “whats/whos/whys” on the Breeze Event Tracker
We’re currently still analysing the results but some interesting numbers are:
(1) In a 16 hr period for one room, we got 345000 reads…….(this maybe picking
up the persons in the back row while sessions are on – our business logic takes care
(2) We experienced a very particular ‘known’ problem (don’t you love it when you experience
an issue for the first time and describe it, only to be told it’s ‘known’ – well telling
us that ahead of time would have been great :). The problem arises from Tags being
physically close together, and two tags respond ‘around’ the same time. In very special
circumstances this confuses the Reader and instead of getting 12byte TagIDs we got
16, 18 or sometimes 20 byte IDs where the 2 tagIDs were ‘spliced’.
It occurred in very special cases – but we got it. That particular read should be
discarded as it fails the CRC check.
In peak time, out of 8000 reads we got around 2 of these cases.
Couple of phone calls to India and our Intel R1000 Provider was ‘patched’ and as a
PlanB we had the current provider being wrapped by another .NET class to catch that
(3) SCOM2007 couldn’t have worked better!!!! I dropped on the BizTalk
RFID Mgmnt pack and it was a breath of fresh air. All the Readers, Devices, Processes,
Providers and RFID Servers out on the network appeared as healthy items in lists (mostly).
From the mgmnt pack I was able to see the number of Tags Read, settings, when the
last heartbeat was heard etc etc. from all the devices over the conference – certainly Mission
(4) We had various ‘Show’ type issues such as power cords being unplugged; cables
being cut; cabinets that housed the equipment in each room collapsing….so all in
all it was filled with fun and excitement. We did have a couple of Network issues
where at the conference there were several networks implemented for different regions/events
at the conference. e.g Public Delegate WiFi; Networks within each of the Break out
rooms – we were on our own VLAN and these network layers above us, proved a little
troublesome from time to time.
Various Licensing arrangements of this system are available – from
the software components through to the hardware. Feel free to ping me for more details.
Here’s a video of a screen capture that I *did* manage to do.
YouTube – Breeze
Event System – TechEd 2008 WalkIn Display Demo