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Troubleshooting Guide - Cisco Proximity

 

Cisco Proximity Troubleshooting Guide

Introduction

Cisco Proximity is a technology that allows the user to control an endpoint, receive content (presentation) directly onto a mobile device and share content wirelessly from a PC or MAC client, there is no road map or support for Linux clients.

Cisco Proximity was introduced as a feature in TC7.1, but only as an experimental configuration. This troubleshooting guide will explain the Cisco Proximity feature for Collaboration Endpoint Software version 8 and above and is focused towards the latest client software available.

Cisco Proximity pairing is enabled by default on the MX and Cisco Spark Room Kit endpoint´s (MX700, MX800, MX800D, MX200 G2, MX300 G2, Cisco Spark Room Kit, Room Kit Plus, Room 55 and Room 70) and disabled for all other systems. The "Share to Clients" and "Call Control" services are disabled by default on all systems, while Sharing from Clients is enabled by default (requires Cisco Proximity Pairing to be enabled).

 

SX integrator systems do not have the Cisco Proximity pairing enabled by default, this is because we do not know how the endpoints will be setup, what kind of speakers they will use with the including microphone(s) and their placement.

 

The three Cisco Proximity services can be enabled all at the same time or having just one or two enabled depending on the user preferences.

For a visual concept demonstration of Cisco Proximity please visit https://projectworkplace.cisco.com/#/experience/proximity/0/0

Supported endpoints and software

Proximity is only supported for endpoints running Collaboration Endpoint Software that includes the following systems: Cisco TelePresence SX10/SX10N Quick Set, SX20 Quick Set, SX80, MX200 G2, MX300 G2, MX700, MX800 and MX800 Dual.

TC7.1.0 through TC7.3.x offers the feature as an experimental feature (feature preview, and are not supported by Cisco). Desktop sharing is not available in the experimental version.

Cisco Proximity, both desktop and mobile is fully supported from CE8.0.0 and the clients are backwards compatible with the endpoint software, however we always recommend running the latest software version on the endpoint and client.

Support and other resources

Cisco Technical Assistance center provides limited or no support for the Cisco Proximity clients as they are free of charge. Please raise your issues in the Cisco Support forum in order to get assistance with any Cisco Proximity related issues you may face.

Support forum: http://www.cisco.com/web/go/proximity-support
Public web site is on:
http://www.cisco.com/go/proximity
Cisco Proximity client release notes: https://proximity.cisco.com/changelog.html
Download links for the Cisco Proximity Desktop applications:
https://proximity.cisco.com
Download the Cisco Proximity app from Google Play if you have a phone running Android
Download the Cisco Proximity app from App store if you have an iPhone

Cisco Proximity Controls removed from CE9.2.1

From CE9.2.1 and above the Cisco Proximity controls has been taken away from the UI. Based on feedback we found that the Proximity controls did not provide as much value as intended as it was often misinterpreted that you would disable the whole feature when disabling Proximity from the Touch 10 or On-screen UI, which is not the case.

You can replace the Proximity Controls with a In-Room Control / Macro combo in CE9.2.1. We have attached an example layout and macro script to this troubleshooting guide (proximityControls.tar). Feel free to modify it to suite your needs. The script is an example so, bug fixes and support is purely on best effort level.

Network requirements

The connecting device must have a IPv4 routable path between itself and the Video System using HTTPS (port 443). A user could be on mobile data network (3G/4G/LTE) as long as there is a VPN connection back to the enterprise and there is a route to the endpoint IP from the VPN concentrator. The ultrasound token exchange does not support IPv6 addresses, but the mobile device can have an IPv6 address as long as it can connect to the addressable Video System.

For more comprehensive information regarding network requirements please refer to the following document: https://projectworkplace.cisco.com/assets/pdf/proximity-networking.pdf

Bandwidth usage

Assuming all the services is enabled, snapshots are continuously captured on the endpoint and transferred to the connected clients, in addition snapshots are received from a sharing client at a continuous pace. Bandwidth consumption is relying on how much bandwidth is available and how many current connections that is currently established. Small deviations in delay may occur during high load if bandwidth is limited.

The Cisco Proximity Services

We generally recommend using the endpoint web interface when configuring the system.

Call control

This service provides call control, which means the user can utilize their mobile device for initiating calls, doing phonebook searches, add participants, mute in-call, volume control, send DTMF tones and end the call.

The service can be enabled on the endpoint by executing the following command or enable through the web interface

xConfiguration Proximity Services CallControl: <Enabled/Disabled>

Content sharing towards client

This service will enable the content sharing from the endpoint to a mobile device. While the system is in a call and a participant is sharing a presentation, the mobile device that is paired to the system will receive snapshots of the on-going presentation for review. The user has the option to save the slides to their mobile device storage for later review as well. If arriving late to a meeting the codec will save the last 10 snapshots, which will be available for anyone who is pairing their mobile device late so they can look at the previous slides without interfering the on-going presentation.

xConfiguration Proximity Services ContentShare ToClients: <Enabled/Disabled>

Content sharing from client (PC / MAC content sharing)

If a user has the Cisco Proximity application installed on their laptop running Windows or MAC, they can pair their laptop with the endpoint using the same ultrasound technology. The internal Microphone of the laptop will pick up the audio and pair to the system. The user now has the option to share their screen wirelessly on the endpoint. If the system is in a call, and a screen is shared, the presentation will be distributed to all the participants in the call automatically. Please note that the images from the laptop are snapshots sent at a low frame rate of 3-5 frames per second. For presenting content in motion it is recommended to use a presentation cable. For PowerPoint presentation where still images are presented, content share via Proximity gives a good experience.

xConfiguration Proximity Services ContentShare FromClients: <Enabled/Disabled>

Additional configurations

Ultrasound Volume adjustments

The ultrasound volume is by default set to "Dynamic". It is the microphone that is connected to the endpoint that listens to the volume of the ultrasound and the sound will be adjusted depending on how loud the audio is. If the microphone is placed closer to the speakers the ultrasound volume might be turned down. The volume can also be set to "Static" and a value between 0-90 can be set for volume. We recommend keeping this setting to "Dynamic". The setting can only be configured through the web interface.

Number of cached slides

You cannot decide how many slides the video system caches, the endpoint will by default store the 10 last snapshots. This number cannot be modified and the feature cannot be turned off. The cached snapshots will be deleted on the endpoint (not in the app) when the call ends.

Maximum simultaneous connections

The solution is using the web server part of the endpoint, this limits the maximum number of simultaneous connections and the number depends on the capabilities of the codec. The following is the maximum number of allowed clients. Exceeding this will display a notification in the application.

Video System model

Maximum simultaneous connections

Cisco TelePresence SX10 and SX10N Quick Set

7

Cisco TelePresence SX20 Quick Set

7

Cisco TelePresence SX80, MX700, MX800 and MX800D

10

Cisco TelePresence MX200 G2 and MX300 G2

7

Cisco DX70 and Cisco DX80

3

Cisco Spark Room Series

7

 

Cisco Proximity for Desktop 2.0

Cisco Proximity for Desktop is an application that runs on Windows and MAC and is available for download at https://proximity.cisco.com. This application allows a user to share content to a paired Video System wirelessly.

This section covers common issues seen with the Cisco Proximity application for Windows and MAC

When I install Cisco Proximity for Desktop on Windows I get a toast saying: "The installation package is not supported by this processor type. Contact your product vendor"

This messages appears when you attempt to install the application on a 32bit system. The Cisco Proximity for Desktop application only has support for 64bit systems. There are no plans to implement support for 32 bit.

I suddenly get a message “Upgrade failed”

The Proximity application automatically upgrades to the latest client version. If you do not have write access to the installation folder i.e. Application folder on MAC, or the application is installed by a different user this message may appear when the application is about to upgrade. Go to https://proximity.cisco.com and download the latest version, delete the old version and install the new version you just downloaded. Changing the write access will resolve the issue. Make sure your disk is not full as this can also cause this error message. 

I am trying to share my desktop using the Cisco Proximity client but nothing happens

Check which system you are paired to. You might be paired to a different system that is nearby. Having two Proximity enabled systems close to each other will cause interference or other unexpected behavior and is not supported. Check the client tool tips.

Cisco Proximity for Desktop tool tips

Tooltip

Explanation

Finding video systems

Client is listening for ultrasound signals, trying to detect a video endpoint.

Connecting

Client has detected a video system and attempts to connect over HTTPS

Connecting to SystemName

Client is establishing connection to video endpoint “SystemName” over HTTPS

Connected to SystemName

Client is connected to video endpoint “SystemName”

Sharing your screen in SystemName

Client is sharing the desktop screen to “SystemName”

No audio input

Client is not able to access the microphone and is unable to listen for ultrasound.

Sorry, SystemName is full

The endpoint is able to connect to N Proximity devices. This message tells the user this number has already been reached.

Wireless sharing is disabled in SystemName

The Administrator of the video endpoint needs to enable the Proximity Service: Content Share from Clients.

SystemName does not support Proximity

The video endpoint is not running CE8.0 and above.

Proximity has been turned off for this meeting in SystemName

Proximity has been temporarily deactivated from the video systems touch panel.

Cannot connect to the video system

The client is hearing the ultrasound signal but cannot connect to the video system over the network. Check that you have an IPv4 routable path to the video system, and that HTTPS is enabled on the video system. The video system may also not be connected to the network.

Known issues relating to Cisco Proximity for Desktop


Laptops running Windows
often have "microphone effects" enabled which may cause decoding issues for the client. If you are experiencing pairing issues running a Windows client, make sure you disable the microphone effects. Please note that this was an issue before Cisco Proximity for Desktop version 2.x was released, if you are running a version lower than Cisco Proximity for Desktop 2.x you are strongly encouraged to upgrade your client. Capturing of the ultrasound signal on Windows has been greatly improved. If you still have issues, try to focus the Cisco Proximity GUI (open the window) when you are pairing to the video system. Please provide us feedback if you are still experiencing problems.

Using a headset on a MAC may sometimes disable the internal microphone. Try to disconnect the headset from the MAC device.

Cisco Proximity crash during installation with the following error message in the logs “Fatal: Could not load font :/fonts/CiscoSansThin.otf” on Windows. This bug is resolved in the Cisco Proximity version 2.0.1 released on August 4th 2016

Cisco Proximity for Mobile

App is replying “Microphone access was denied”

This happens because the app cannot access the internal microphone. You are given an option during the first launch of the app to grant access to the microphone. If this step was skipped it can be turned on by going into the Settings -> Privacy.

App is replying “Cannot connect to the video system”

This happens because the app cannot reach the video system over the network or HTTPS.

Please check the following:

- Are you connected to the same network as the system and have an IPv4 routable path to it?

- Is the video system connected to the network?

- Make sure HTTPS is enabled on the video system.

App is "Finding 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 Proximity mode enabled on the video system?

- Does the video system have speakers and is ultrasound volume set to dynamic or static?

- 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).

I´m in the same room as the video system, connection is suddenly lost and the app is displaying “Finding video systems”

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 within 3-6 minutes.

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 iPad's, 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 this resolves the problem. Thick glass and concrete walls can cause reflections.

- Use the built-in ultrasound measurement tool on the endpoint to find weak spots (See the ultrasound analysis section in this document)

- If you have left the room, this is normal and expected behavior.

If this issue is often experienced without any reasonable explanation, please leave us feedback and describe your scenario! This is valuable input that can help us improve the ultrasound pairing!

Known issues relating to Cisco Proximity for Mobile

What may seem like duplicated snapshots happens when there are many small changes in the image (e.g. when the mouse pointer moves) in a short period of time. The images can look duplicated and seem like an issue but the application is operating as intended.

Cisco Proximity for Android devices does not have as good error handling as Cisco Proximity for iOS.

 

Video Systems with Cisco Proximity enabled

Speakers  

With integrated systems (endpoints with integrated audio system like the MX Series), Cisco has tested and verified that audio pairing works. For component systems, Cisco has no control over the audio. The pairing feature plays high-frequency audio that could cause interference with some audio systems. It is not possible to specify what speakers would work (e.g. by frequency response etc.), but most solutions we have tested, works.

I hear crackling sounds from my video system speakers

This may happen if the ultrasound is outside the frequency range of the speakers. You could try the following:

- If xConfiguration Proximity Pairing Audio Volume Mode is set to static, turn down the ultrasound volume from the web interface. 70 is default. Try lowering this value. Keep in mind that this may result in a poor pairing experience, and users would have to sit closer to the system to be able to pair.

- Change the xConfiguration Proximity Pairing Audio Volume Mode to "Dynamic" (if this issue is experienced with Static configuration)

- If the speakers are not embedded in the system, try replacing them with speakers rated for transmitting ultrasound.

- Do not leave the speakers on when they produce crackling sounds. This could potentially cause permanent damage to the speakers.  

I have a headset/handset connected to my video system, and I am unable to pair

When a headset or handset is connected, the ultrasound is also routed through these. We do not know the sound pressure level for headsets. Therefore, we recommend not using a headset with video systems if you intend to use the Cisco Proximity feature.

In our integrated MX Series systems, the ultrasound sound pressure level is below 75 dB at a distance of 75 cm or more from the loudspeaker. Even if airborne ultrasound may cause subjective effects for some individuals, it is very unlikely that any effects will occur for levels below 75 dB

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.

Who is paired to the video system?  

The video system will show a notification when a user pairs. This notification (“Joe’s iPad connected”) will be based on the iOS device name.

In order to get a list of currently paired participants, this can be seen in the current xStatus //Peripherals output or in the web interface under System Status --> Peripherals.

Cisco Proximity clients does not pair when the video system is in standby if HDMI is used for audio

No pairing audio is sent when an endpoint is in standby mode when using HDMI. Ensure to wake up the system before attempting pairing. Video systems using line out with external third party speakers or integrated systems, i.e. MX Series does not have this problem.

Known issues relating to Cisco Proximity enabled video systems

Pairing interference If two systems are enabling Cisco Proximity in the same room, you will get interference. This may lead to problems with the discovery. Maximum one system should have Cisco Proximity enabled in the same room.

Cisco TelePresence SX10 and Cisco TelePresence SX10N have a small hardware difference where the SX10N has a built-in speaker in the front that is dedicated for emitting ultrasound. This makes pairing significantly easier for the SX10N unit compared to the SX10 that relies on third party speakers. Also keep in mind that connecting external speakers to the analog audio output will not provide a good ultrasound signal. We recommend using the HDMI output connector.

Ultrasound analysis

Using the video system VU meter to check how well the endpoint can decode its own ultrasound signals.

Please refer to the CE8.0.0 Release Notes for more information about this tool. Available at the following location: Release notes for CE8

Using third party spectrum tools

It is possible to use third party tools to do a spectrum scan in the room. If Cisco Proximity is not working as it should (not pairing etc.) it may be because of interference from other sources that interfere with the signaling in the ultrasound bound. There are several free spectrum analyzers available on Google Play and App Store that can be used by your mobile device to check if the endpoint is emitting ultrasound.

Try experimenting by enabling and disabling Proximity Mode. You should see that you get signals between 20-22kHz in the spectrum analyzer. If you are picking up noise here when Proximity Mode is turned off, there might be other endpoints nearby interfering, or another ultrasound source nearby. This may explain poor pairing performance. Having several endpoints with Proximity enabled in range of each other is not supported.

Security concerns

Renewal of token

The secret token changes every 180 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 within 3-6 minutes and no more content is received. Within these 3-6 minutes the participant that are still connected after leaving the room may still receive content shared to the endpoint. If confidentiality is needed, Cisco Proximity can be enabled/disabled on demand from the Touch 10 panel by pressing the Proximity icon in top left corner. Note: This function is removed from CE9.2.1 and above.

3-6 minutes explained

Firstly it is important to understand that the endpoint will always accept the current advertised token and the previously advertised token. This is to avoid unexpected loss of pairing when the token changes for example, a currently paired device does not receive the new token immediately.

 

The red dots represent the worst case (6 minutes) and the green dots represent the best case (3 minutes).

If a user leaves the room right after the Token A has been changed and received by the device the endpoint will accept the Token A in both Token A and Token B period. When the Token changes to Token C it will no longer accept Token A and the connection will be lost.

If a user leaves the room at the end of the Token C period (and never receives Token D) the connection will be lost when the Token changes to Token E ~180 seconds later.

So the connection will be lost after 3-6 minutes. If the connection is up longer than this, it means that you are still in range of receiving the ultrasound token from the endpoint.

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 they use the possibility to disable Proximity temporarily on the endpoint from the Touch. You can locate an audio leak by installing a spectrum analyzer on your smart device and take corrective actions to open cracks where the leak is most significant.

Locating the Cisco Proximity client logs

Where to find logs for the Cisco Proximity for Windows client

The proximity logs are located in %temp% folder. Write %Temp% in explorer to access the folder.

Where to find logs for the Cisco Proximity for MAC client

The proximity logs are located in /tmp/ folder.

Where to find logs for the Cisco Proximity for Android client

Logs cannot be opened by users on Android clients.

Where to find logs for the Cisco Proximity for iOS client

Logs cannot be opened by users on iOS clients.

Where to find logs for the Cisco TelePresence video system

Downloading the log bundle from the video systems web interface is sufficient

Feedback

If you have issues or questions and you cannot find your answer here, please start a discussion in the Proximity forum and we will help you as soon as possible. We also appreciate feedback on the product, both good and bad to help us improve the Cisco Proximity feature. If you feel like something is missing with this feature, we want to hear it.

 

 

Comments
Cisco Employee

Is there any new updates to this thread or any current information that would be different than above content? Thanks for your time here. :-)

Hi Devin Dorsett,

 Cisco will insert the Cisco Proximity (in beta trial) as a feature in the new Collaboration Endpoint Software 8.0 release. Check this link.

 The good news is that it will also enable wireless content sharing from Macs and PCs ... I hope that it works well :)

 

Hope this helps.

 

Community Member

Does anyone know when CE 8 will be released?  Thought is was supposed to be in April...

Cisco Employee

Hi

It is difficult to give a reliable answer here but we are closing in to a release. The target we are currently working with is 15th of June, but as always there are no guarantees on this target.

It will hopefully be out before June comes to past.

/Magnus

Community Member

Thanks for the update Magnus!  Much appreciated.

Mike

Community Member

could you please update me about user control for Intelligent Proximity on EX &MX series ?? as you know when the mobile is paired, the user has control to add a call and also able to end the call .

I want to limit user control just to see presentation and make snapshots. Please advise me.

Cisco Employee

Hi,

This is not possible with the current experimental version. When the Collaboration Endpoint Software is released you have the possibility to disable the Call control functionality so that the user is only able to receive the presentation and not end the call.

/Magnus

Community Member

Thanks for your quick reply.

Community Member

I heard just now through the grapevine that it may be October 2015 before the CE release comes out.

My internal users discovered a public link from December 2013 where Rowan Trollope indicated that he had it running in his office, and Proximity would be released 'shortly'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOWiXy50bEI

That video is up on YouTube for public consumption. I suggest you watch it, and put yourself in the mind of the end user, before replying.

It's been 19 months since this video. You've been beating the drum for Proximity for quite some time. Release dates come and go with nothing but "we will release it when it's ready".

Jonathan Rosenberg said at the collaboration track sessions at Cisco Live 2015 (San Diego) that development resources weren't a problem.

If not, what is the problem?

Should I email Rowan and Jonathan to ask when it will be released?

 

 

Community Member

It's possible to change the Function Key. Now it's using Alt+F12, but this is blocked by our Helpdesk system! Maybe there is a possibility to change it by Regkey or during the installation via MSI parameter.

Community Member

Hi Magnus...

A few questions:

1) Can I suppress the auto update feature on Proximity installer?  

2) Can I suppress the "new update available" bubble on the Proximity Installer?

3) Can I limit how many slides I can see when connecting via my phone or tablet to the endpoint? 

1. I noticed with version 8.2, that ability was removed. 

Please let me know.

Thank you. 

Cisco Employee
  1. Sorry, that is not a planned feature. Installing the application as an administrator makes the upgrade require user interaction.
  2. That specific bubble can't be disabled as things are now. You can disable all balloons from Proximity from the Notifications & actions settings panel in Windows 8.1 and above.
  3. This setting was removed in order to simplify the architecture and API. Apologies if it was a setting you were relying on.
Cisco Employee

Apologies for the missing answer. To help us track unanswered posts, it would be better if you created new posts with questions rather than commenting on a different post. We have not added support for customizing the shortcut, neither is it a planned feature at this time. Sorry.

Cisco Employee

I have a DX80 in my home office. I cannot connect with Proximity to this unit - is proximity supported/enabled on the DX80?  If so, how can I check if my DX80 has proximity enabled?

Here's the DX80 device info: Last upgrade Sept 23, 2106; active load sipdx80.10-2-5-207

Also - I am running the latest proximity version available.

Cisco Employee

I'd recommend you post these questions as separate posts, not as comments to a document.

Your administrator needs to enable Proximity; if you have admin rights on the endpoint, you can go to the web admin interface and enable proximity (search for proximity under the config page).

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