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Bill Ruhnke

Reconnection of Proximity mobile clients unreliable on C60

We tested a company laptop (wired and by wifi/VPN) and an iPad (on VPN) running the Proximity app. They connect easily to the C60 if Proximity is enabled. Connection is automatic. No login is required.

The laptop can share content to the C60 by pressing Alt-F12. The top of the laptop screen shows a message “Sharing Content”.  The Proximity icon runs in the system tray.  While connecting, the icon is partially lit.  Once connected, it is grayed out with a slash, indicating it cannot connect, though it has connected.  A click on the icon says “Unable to connect, Incompatible software.”

The iPad does not share content, but it receives shared content from the C60.  This works for locally shared content (either by the Proximity connected laptop, or a device connected to the room VGA cable) with or without an active video call.  It also receives content from an active video call when content is shared from a remote location.  While displaying the shared content it also shows controls for the C60 to adjust volume, mute the microphone, dial a new call, or disconnect an existing call.

The C60 caches up to 10 presented slides.  The iPad can scroll back through prior slides while the current slide is displayed in a PiP.

If the C60 microphone is muted or the room volume set low, the Proximity connections time out.  To stay connected, devices must exchange subsonic information every 180 seconds.  If the device leaves the room and can no longer communicate with the C60 by the subsonic audio, it will disconnect upon the failure to respond to the next exchange.

If a presentation stops, either by the Proximity presenting laptop disconnecting from the network or by pressing Alt-F12, or stops by a VGA connected device unplugging the VGA cable, results are unpredictable.  Sometimes when presentation resumes the iPad gets the new content no problem, but sometimes the iPad must be disconnected by closing the Proximity app and then restart the Proximity app, and sometimes after reconnecting it still does not get new slides until the laptop stops again (Alt-F12) and starts presenting again (Alt-F12).  Sometimes stopping a presentation causes the C60 presentation buffer to freeze on the last slide it presented and the C60 must be restarted to restore normal operation.

Documentation says you enable Proximity on the C60 by command xConfiguration Experimental Proximity Mode: On, however this is not correct for the C60 (running TC7.3.4). The command that works is xConfiguration Experimental Byod Mode: On.

More reliable operation is expected when endpoint firmware is updated to CE8 (the successor to the TC firmware).  This will be available for SX, DX, and MX series, not “C” series.  It will require updating TMS to ver 15.0.

Tonje Vik Jevard

Hi Bill,

Thank you for summarising the behaviour of "Proximity for mobile" with TC software on the video endpoint. 

To use Cisco Proximity, you need CE8.0 or later installed on the video endpoint. Proximity on iOS and Android works with limited feature set on TC7.3, but requires CE8 for official support.

I put Proximity on an SX-80 and it was totally reliable. Devices connected quickly.  When a presenter disconnected and reconnected the other connected mobile devices resumed getting content updates.  This is on firmware ver TC7.3.4

The frame rate from presenter to display was about 2.5 fps, and very steady, almost adequate for video.  Latency from presenter to display was less than a second. The frame rate to the mobile devices receiving the content was about 1 frame per second and very inconsistent. Latency to the mobile device was about 2 seconds behind what the codec was displaying.

I updated firmware to ver CE8.0.1 and found no improvement in performance.  It did provide  a Proximity section in the web admin interface to allow disabling each of 3 features: receiving content, transmitting content, allowing call control from a mobile that is getting the transmitted content.  It also puts a Proximity on/off switch on the user touchscreen.

We confirmed that Proximity sends video only, not audio. We also confirmed that a presentation connected on a wired input to the codec was shared out to mobile devices.

One anomaly was observed. A Windows 10 Surface book failed to disconnect when walked out of the room, away from the sub-sonic token exchange. We will investigate if this behavior can happen on other devices.

The disconnect when walking out of the room does not happen instantly. Currently it will take on average 3 minutes for the disconnect to occur.

Documentation says Proximity polls every 180 seconds. Most devices we tested disconnected after missing one or two polls.  The Surface Book on Windows 10 apparently did not disconnect until it missed four.  Is there a way to change the polling interval?

The token (password) is changed every 180 seconds. At any given time there is two valid tokens, the token that is currently being broadcast over ultrasound and the previous token. Depending on how fast, or slow, the client picked up the token it will take 180-360 seconds before the client is disconnected once leaving the room.

How far from the video system was the Surface Book when it took more that 6 minutes to disconnect? Close enough to hear the token?

Could you also send me an email with the support id of the Surface book (found under "About") and the time this occurred. daneriks at Cisco 

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