Video Conference - Cisco Proximity FAQ
What is Cisco Proximity?
Cisco Proximity is a beta feature which has been enabled on some Cisco video conference systems. It allows users to connect their BYOD devices using the Proximity App to use the Content Sharing and Conference Control features.
Cisco Proximity is currently being trialled at Deakin and is supported under a 'best-effort' model only.
Where can I get the Proximity App?
The Cisco Proximity application is currently available for free to the general public in the App Store for iOS 7 (or later) devices. Please note that the app is currently in beta and "use on your own risk" applies. There is no "beta program" that you can sign up to. It's free for all to download, test and provide feedback.
App download links:
PC and Mac software
How do I start using Proximity?
- Connect your device to Eduroam
- Download and install the Cisco Proximity App or Software
- Go to a room with a Proximity-enabled video conference unit: Search Rooms
- Open the Proximity App
- The Proximity App should detect the video conference unit and automatically begin pairing.
- If a Presentation is being displayed you should be able to view this on the Proximity App
Which rooms have Proximity enabled?
Search for the 'Cisco Proximity' feature on the IT facilities in Deakin spaces webpage.
How does the Cisco Proximity pairing work?
The Cisco Proximity application is pairing to the system using "ultrasound" where it receives details on how to connect to the endpoint over HTTPS. This requires the handheld device (i.e phone or tablet) to be connected to a network where the system is reachable over HTTPS.
You will need to connect your device to the Eduroam WiFi network so that the Proximity pairing can complete.
How many endpoints can be connected to a system at a time?
This depends on how many HTTPS connections the system can handle at a time. Here is a list of how many simultaneous connections an endpoint model can have:
- Cisco SX20: 7 Simultaneous connections
- Cisco SX80: 10 Simultaneous connections
- Cisco Spark Room Kit: 7 Simultaneous connections
- Cisco Spark Room Kit Plus: 7 Simultaneous connections
- Cisco DX80: 3 Simultaneous connections
Are there any security concerns with Cisco Proximity?
Renewal of token: The secret token changes every 30 seconds. The token is sent in an ultrasound message and the device must provide the token to the endpoint over HTTPS to keep the connection open. When leaving the room, the ultrasound can no longer be received, the secure association is lost and so the connection will close and no more content is received.
Brute force attack prevention: To prevent brute force attacks, two incorrect tokens from the mobile device will result in an IP address ban for 10 minutes. If 10 IP addresses are banned the service is halted for 10 minutes.
Possibility of “drive-by pairing”: A user passing by a meeting room with an open door/“audio leak” could pair with the system and thus see content displayed in the room. Users in the room will see on-screen notifications about paired devices. The display name is taken from the device name on iOS and is thus not authenticated (easily changed). This could present security challenges in some situations. For security focused customers, we recommend waiting to deploy in scale until the end-user control is implemented.
App is "searching for video systems" when I am right in front of a system
This is indicating that the app cannot pick up ultrasound from the video system. Please check the following:
- Is your finger blocking the microphone on the iPad/iPhone?
- Do you have a protective case on your device that is blocking the microphone?
- Is BYOD mode enabled on the video system? Check out the "Getting started" guide
- Does the video system have speakers?
- Are the speakers rated for supporting up to 22kHz?
- Is the system in standby and the HDMI out disabled? (In that case we can't pair).
App stuck in "Identifying...(retrying)" state
This happens because the app cannot reach the video system over HTTPS. Please check the following:
- Are you connected to the same network as the system?
- Is the video system connected to the network?
- Make sure HTTPS is enabled on the video system. See Getting Started tab.
I get a Pop up saying "Lost ultrasound signal"
This happens because the app cannot hear the ultrasound emitted from the video system after a connection is initialized. The app needs to hear a new security token from the video system at least every three minutes. This toast tells you that if you do not take any action, your connection will be ended.
There could be many reasons why this happens when you are still within proximity of the system. Try one of the following:
- Make sure your hand or fingers is not covering the microphone on your device (on iPads the microphone is located on the top above the camera)
- If the device is flat on the table, this might cause reflections in the sound waves - try to elevate the device slightly
- The room you are in might have many sources of reflections making noise in the ultrasound spectrum - try to relocate the device in the room to see if the problem goes away
- If you have left the room, this is normal and after a while you will be disconnected automatically
If you see this message often, please leave us feedback and describe your scenario. This is valuable input that can help us improve the ultrasound pairing.
I have a headset/handset connected to my video system, and I am unable to pair
Unfortunately, when a headset or handset is connected, the ultrasound is also routed through these.
- Activate the speakers on your system to allow the ultrasound to play through the speakers - the ultrasound will be played using the same route as conversation audio
Generation of too many slides
Pixelation and small changes (e.g mouse being moved) may generate new slides although it shouldn't. This is an area we are trying to improve.
If two systems are enabling Intelligent Proximity in the same room, you will get interference. This may lead to problems with the discovery. Maximum one system should have Intelligent Proximity in the same room.
Where can I get more information?
Further information is available on the Cisco website:
Cisco Proximity site
How to fix "The Microphone format is not supported"