To get a general understanding of what an Info Point is visit our Knowledge Base page. For more specific questions browse the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below. If you can’t find a suitable answer then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Will Info Point work on my device?
Any device that can browse the web can connect to an Info-Point, regardless of make, model or age. It is even future-proofed to work with devices yet to be launched!
Can Info Point be used outdoors?
Yes, Info Point is designed to work in harsh, changeable outdoor environments, including by the sea. The internal components are industrial-grade hardware of the kind used for major public installations, and the internal power protection means that it can be safely powered by main, battery or solar. The enclosure has maintenance-free cooling vents with dust and insect filters. We recommend:
- The unit is protected from direct exposure to the elements, including direct sunlight
- Cables are routed in a downward direction from the unit so that gravity pulls any water away from the unit
- Always use the supplied mounting feet to ensure adequate ventilation (at least 10mm) behind the unit
Outdoor antennas with extension leads enable an Info-Point and its antenna to be located several metres apart to ensure the optimal positioning of both.
Our Info Point Solar is the perfect outdoor product for harnessing the sun’s energy and delivering multimedia content to visitors.
How is an Info Point powered?
Info Points have several options for power:
- Mains – a mains adapter is included with every Info Point purchase
- Battery – a pocket-size lithium-ion battery can run it all day for events and outreach
- Solar power – it can be entirely self-contained and unattended for remote outdoor sites. A lithium-ion battery is required to store the power
- Vehicle or vessel – for tours and trips
Info Point units can be left permanently on, or switched on and off at the beginning and end of each day. The system auto-recovers from power failures and glitches. Technical details:
- DC Voltage 12V to 24V DC
- DC power consumption: Info Point 7 watts, Extender 2 watts
- AC voltage 110-240V (mains adapter supplied)
- AC Power consumption 20W at 240V (similar to low-energy light bulb)
What is the WiFi range of Info Point?
In an open space that has no obstructions between the unit and the device, an Info Point with our standard antenna will cover an area roughly the size of a football pitch (100m+). It will go further for some phones that have good internal WiFi engineering. Upgrading to a high-gain antenna (which externally only looks a bit longer) can increase the range to 250 metres.
If there are objects or walls in the way, then the WiFi signal will travel less distance. The material, its thickness and dampness will all have an imopact. Did you know that water molecules absorb radio signals in the WiFi wavelength? It is impossible to predict the effect of walls, which is why we recommend testing. As a guide:
- Glass, plastic, wood and ‘stud’ walls are ‘radio transparent’ so have very little effect on the WiFi signal. Therefore, an InfoPoint can be put in a window to cover outside and inside, or to link between buildings. It can also be put in a wooden or plastic box for security or weather protection without any problem.
- Dry and thin plaster, brick or stone walls will not weaken the signal much. A single, centrally-located Info-Point can generally cover a large house or church.
- The thick damp stone walls of a castle will absorb most of the signal and little will get through.
- Steel cladding will reflect the signal, so it will not pass through, but the signal will be made stronger inside a steel-clad or ferro-concrete building.
- Trees can have a significant impact on signal because leaves hold water. Because trees grow and deciduous trees lose their leaves in the autumn you’ll find the signal varies from season to season and year to year, unless a specific maintenance programme is put in place with the needs of the Info-Point in mind.
WiFi signal tends to find its way through apertures like windows and doorways, in the same way light does. Placing an Info Point in e.g. a central stairwell with openings to rooms leading off it is often an ideal location.
Get in touch to schedule a site survey.
Can I extend the area over which my Info Point content can be accessed?
Yes. You have three options:
- Add Info Point Extenders for a seamless WiFi network. Outdoors, Extenders can be up to 1km apart and also increase the visitor capacity for high traffic areas. This technology is the best solution for complex spaces such as underground rooms or multiple buildings in an open air museum.
- Use multiple Info Points to create individual ‘hot spots’. Users only need to connect to the first Info Point they encounter. Their device will automatically reconnect at each hot spot. This technique is best for big open spaces, such as parks and gardens, with specific ‘highlight’ locations. Each Info Point can contain the same information; so that everything is available everywhere, or different information; so that visitors have to be at a specific location to access specific content.
- Make some content downloadable so it can be used out of range. Nearly all mobile devices will download and display PDFs, which can be used for trails and treasure hunts outside the WiFi coverage area. Create a downloads section on your Info Point that can only be accessed by users in range.
Can I use QR codes and NFC tags to connect to Info Point?
Yes. QR codes and NFC tags save users having to type in a URL to access content on the Info Point. QR codes are free to generate and most modern mobile devices have a native QR code reader built into the camera. Simply point your phone at the QR code and the device will recognise it and open the relevant content.
NFC tags use the same technology as contactless payment cards. They do not require batteries and will work at low temperatures outdoors. They are easy to programme and users simply tap their device onto the tag to connect to the content. Android devices are fully compatible and iPhone 7 (or newer devices on iOS13+ can communicate with NFC tags too).
Does Info Point support Beacons?
The simple answer is yes, but there are two main types of beacons on the market, which work differently.
Google ‘Eddystone’ Beacons work directly and natively with Info Point by broadcasting a URL that directs a mobile device to access specific content on the Info Point. The user will only need a beacon-enabled device, with a generic beacon app.
Apple ‘iBeacons’ only broadcast an ID number and so the user will always need a dedicated native app designed specifically for you that maps each beacon ID to an action. This app can then use Info Point as its content source that is only available for people on site.
- Does the Info Point come with a warranty?
How many users can connect to an Info Point at one time?
Up to 250 devices can connect simultaneously to an Info Point but for a good end user experience, especially if streaming video, we say around 50. However when configured with each additional Info Point Extender the number of simultaneous users doubles – see our St Andrew’s case study for an example. Info Point Extenders can either be located in close proximity to serve a busy area, or spread out to create a network over 1km long!
Can WordPress be installed on an Info Point?
It is possible that WordPress or other third-party software can be installed onto an Info Point. However, every Info Point comes pre-installed with our custom PlaceMaker CMS which has all the features you would need to share your content. It’s so simple to use and requires no programming skills.
Can I download content from an Info Point?
PDFs can be easily downloaded from an Info Point to any device. Why not offer your visitors local walks, quiz sheets or additional information about your site. We recommended PDFs are a single-column design to make them easier to read on any device.
Android apps can be made available for download, but it is not recommended. iOS apps cannot be downloaded from an Info Point as they can only be installed from the App Store. Audio/Video files can be streamed when in range of an Info Point but some devices will not allow downloads.
What size is an Info Point?
An Info Point measures 220mm (h) x 290mm (w) x 92mm (d) – approximately the size of an A4 box file. The depth figure includes the 10mm adjustable mounting feet (with screw holes) that provide a ventilation zone behind the Info Point. Additional space is needed around the sides for the power cable and antenna/antenna lead.
When an Info Point is mounted ‘landscape’ add 140mm to the height for standard antenna, and 400mm for a high-power antenna. For ‘portrait’ mounted Info Points the aerial ‘elbow’ is bent 90º, extending the height from the normal base to the antenna elbow to 260mm. Antenna can also be remote mounted using an extension cable.
An Info Point weighs 2.5kg.
An Extender measures 215mm x 140mm x 56mm.
How long does it take to deliver an Info Point?
This will depend on what configuration (if any) you require but we generally aim to get standard Info Points and Extenders to you within 10 working days of receiving payment. If we are working with you to create and/or upload content then this will be a longer, collaborative process. Likewise, if you are ordering a solar-powered product the lead in time will be longer. Speak to us to discuss your exact requirements.
I’ve seen cheaper products that appear similar?
We are the manufacturers of Info Point, the industry leading local WiFi hotspot provider for the natural and cultural heritage sector. Please be aware that from time to time there are inferior products promoted on the web that appear similar to Info Point but are much cheaper. They are often based on low-grade ‘educational’ hardware, such as the Raspberry Pi, that has been designed for school children to learn about computing. We tested such hardware when developing Info Point, but found that it does not have enough power to support anything like a reasonable number of visitors, or have the reliability for continuous long-term use that is essential for capital equipment intended to be used for a decade or more.
Info Point is a specialised product based on a rugged industrial-grade computer and WiFi router. Our systems are modular and have spare capacity that we can use for special features and for future upgrading. Furthermore, features such as auto-reboot, following a power interruption, ensure your service resumes as soon as possible. We are confident that the software on an Info Point is better and more robust than anything else on the market too.
Since 2013 we have been supplying units up and down the country for all types of applications, indoor and outdoor. We have a solid track record of success, with many customer and professional heritage interpreters providing testimonials. See our case studies for many examples.