Visitors to Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works event venue and conservation area who want to make use of the free Wi-Fi network available won’t type in a password to get online – instead, they can check-in to the venue’s location using Facebook.

Yesterday, Cisco Systems Inc. and Facebook Inc. announced they’d be teaming up to deliver CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi. Using the Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) solution with Facebook, customers at restaurants, hotels, and stores can check-in to their locations using Facebook to get free Wi-Fi, instead of punching in a password via their mobile devices.

Consumers connect to a business’ network by opening a browser on a mobile device or laptop. A Facebook check-in page will pop up. Once they check in, the business’ Facebook page pops up, giving them the latest news about the business.

On the business’ side, it receives anonymous data about consumers’ activity on their page, getting insight on their customer base’s age, gender, and city.

The move is being touted a way for businesses more ways to connect with their customers, especially as it allows businesses to get more Likes and check-ins for their Facebook company pages. By getting more Likes, businesses will also have a better sense of who their customers are, eventually being able to tailor their advertising and marketing campaigns to them.

While Cisco made this announcement with Facebook, it also announced it’d be expanding its Unified Access portfolio by adding the Catalyst 3650 access switch and the Aironet 3700 802.11ac wireless access point. The Catalyst access switch speeds up the convergence of wired and wireless networks, while the Aironet access point manages mobile devices in high-density environments.

Businesses interested in using CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi can start by installing a software connector on a Cisco integrated services router, an aggregation services router, or on the mobility services engine.

Here’s a video about Evergreen Brick Works’ implementation of Cisco’s technology. (We’ll also take the opportunity to point out our own community blogger, Michelle Warren, appears in this video).

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