NEW YORK Oct 2 Cisco Systems Inc said
on Wednesday it was working with Facebook Inc to offer
free Wi-Fi Internet access to consumers at public places such as
hotels or retail stores using their Facebook log-in.
A visitor could check in at a hotel without having to
line-up at a front desk by simply signing in via the Facebook
application on a smartphone, Cisco said.
The company also demonstrated how it might work at a
hospital as Chief Executive Officer John Chambers gave a speech
at the Interop technology conference in New York.
Chambers said retailers could deliver tailored promotions or
information to consumers who check in through Facebook when they
arrive at a store.
Cisco said some customers of its Connected Mobile Experience
Wi-Fi technology are currently testing the system.
While Cisco is looking to sell network equipment, Facebook
appears to be following arch-rival Google Inc in
collecting data on the shopping and Web browsing habits of
customers so it can offer targeted ads.
Earlier this year, Google announced plans to bring free
wireless Internet access to 7,000 Starbucks Corp cafes
across the United States.
As part of their deal, Google will also help develop a
version of the Starbucks Digital Network available to customers,
putting it in a strong position to offer targeted advertising
and promote the music and other media it sells.