At Cisco Live 2018 Barcelona, Cisco Systems announced API’s to get network assurance data from Cisco DNA Center. The possibility to get information from the status of the network, its connected clients via an API is very powerful.

The power of network API’s started me thinking in what could be possible if you bring these network API’s to the software developer world, where using API’s (also known as frameworks) are as common as a simple if-statement.

Around the same time, Apple Systems announced a major upgrade of their Augmented Reality framework (Also a set of API’s which allows a developer to create a virtual reality overlay to a camera shot).

I talked with a System Engineer working with DNAC in Barcelona and shortly afterward of that idea and we agreed that I could demonstrate an application that showcases such possibilities in one of his sessions in 2019. 

And that plan came true. I was a speaker at a Cisco Live breakout session in Barcelona this year and demonstrated this application. I will write down that experience at a later time (if there is interest). But since that demonstration, I have received a number of requests to either publish the application or make that video available for demonstration purposes. So here it is.

PoC: Visual Wireless Troubleshooting App

The troubleshooting of a wireless network can be quite difficult, because of its dynamics and specifically, remote troubleshooting is challenging, checking out your laptop, determining to which Access Point it is connected and which clients are connected.

I created an application that uses a number of new emerging technologies, such as machine learning, augmented reality and of course the Network Intent API’s to demonstrate how an application can make that life easier.

The flow for the user is quite simple.

  1. Start the app
  2. Point the camera to a Cisco Access Point
  3. Machine Learning / Image Recognition will recognize that it is an Access Point
  4. Determine the access point name (on Apple iOS is that more than Android)
  5. Go to DNA Center and get all clients connected to that AP
  6. And show that in an AR experience

I built this app and demonstrated it at Cisco Live 2019 in Barcelona and used Cisco Live’s own DNA Center for the data. The screen recording I made for the app is shown below.

As you can see, I point my camera up to the ceiling, the AP is recognized and the client data is retrieved. If there is interest, I can share more insights in how I connect to DNA Center (using Swift) and how to get that data. As said this is just a proof of concept and a lot more can be built if you bring the programmable network to the software engineering world!

If you have some ideas, please share them. Who knows, somebody might build your dream App, or.. Start coding on your own. Check out Cisco’s DevNet for network programming API’s and Apple’s Swift Playground  and start coding!

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