Resources

hippoVISIT User Guide


Welcome to hippoVISIT, a simple yet powerful visitor tracking system. Using hippoVISIT you can ...

  • Receive an alert when a visitor enters your store or land

  • Send alerts to up to ten managers as well

  • Be alerted via pop up message, sound or chat message

  • Personalize the messages sent to you or managers

  • Keep logs of visitors and have them emailed to you if you wish

  • Easily configure how often you get notifications, or turn them off entirely

  • Give notecards, landmarks, objects etc. to visitors

Here’s what this document describes for you ...

1. Getting started

2. Configuring how your HUD behaves

3. Configuring sensors

4. Troubleshooting



1. Getting Started

If you look inside your hippoVISIT folder, you'll find three important items ...

  1. hippoVISIT HUD Hub

  2. hippoVISIT HUD

  3. hippoVISIT Sensor Unit

Let's deal with these in order. First, the HUD-Hub. Sensors (rezzed at your property locations) need to communication with the HUD that you wear to send you alerts. However, since the Second Life "key" that uniquely identifies your HUD changes whenever you remove it, log in etc., your sensors need a "fixed point". That's the job of your HUD-Hub, it sits between your HUD and your sensors, relaying messages.

So, start by rezzing your HUD-Hub somewhere permanent in your house, for example. Click it, choose "Register" from the menu that appears and wait until the hub turns green and reports "Hub registered and active".

TIP: If you need to move your HUD-Hub, simply rez a new one and register it; then click your HUD and choose "Reset" from the menu to reconnect to your new sensor. Sensors check for new HUD-Hub keys every 24 hours, so it may take a while for communications to fully re-establish themselves. (Or you can manually reset a sensor)

Now that your HUD-Hub is set up, you can attach the HUD. Right click it in your inventory and choose 'Attach to HUD' and pick a HUD location. Bottom is good. You'll see the HUD is tiny when not in use, so it should not get in your way. When you attach it, it will load up its configuration and then report ...

"Connecting with your HUD Hub ... this may take a short while ..."

Wait until it confirms: "... HUD successfully connected to your hippoVISIT HUD Hub."

Great! Your HUD and hub are now connected!

OBVIOUS BUT IMPORTANT NOTE: Your HUD will only work on script-enabled land!

TWO USEFUL TIPS ...

-> If for any reason the HUD does not auto-connect, try using the "Reset" menu option (see below).

-> The HUD can have its auto-centering function turned off, if you wish. Just add the text "-centre" (without the quote marks) to the HUD's description (double-click it in your inventory and you'll get the Second Life properties window for your HUD and you can edit its description there). Next time the HUD is attached to an attachment point, it won't move at all.

Now your HUD and hub are connected ... go to the first property location at which you'd like to track visitors and rez a Sensor Unit. A sensor detects somebody when they walk through it, so you might want to size and position it, using the usual Second Life building tools, so it covers the doorway (or even just the doorway at floor level). Wait until it's finished loading its configuration, then click it and choose 'Hide Prim'; it will turn 100% transparent. (You can undo this by clicking it and choosing 'Show Prim'. Remember, too, you can see transparent prims by going to Second Life's "View" menu and choosing "Highlight Transparent".)

Test your sensor is working by walking through it. If you've done everything correctly (rezzed and registered a hub, worn your HUD and put down the sensor) you should get an alert in a short while. (You can dismiss this by clicking on any part of the window that pops up, or it will vanish itself after 30 seconds or so). You can also click the 'Map' button on the pop-up window to see a map of where the visitor is.

Now read on to discover what else your hippoVISIT system can do.



2. Configuring How Your HUD Behaves

There are two ways to configure how your hippoVISIT HUD behaves; a really, really quick way for everyday settings, and a slightly longer way for the more technical settings.

The Easy Stuff

Simply click your hippoVISIT HUD when it's in its shrunken state and it will expand to a dialog window with three options:

These allow you to choose what happens when a visitor is reported:

  • Display a Pop-Up Alert
    You'll get a pop-up window. (If more than one visitor alert comes in at once, only the first will be reported in the window.)

  • Play a Sound
    The HUD will play a sound when a visitor is reported. (For the technically minded; the HUD plays the first sound file (alphabetically) in its inventory. So don't like our default door bell sound? No problem, just use your own sound.

  • Chat Visitor Details
    The HUD will report each visitor's details (in owner-specific chat, so you won't spam people!) If you view your chat history, you'll be able to click on the SLurl web links that accompany each message, allowing quick teleportation to the location.

To turn an option on or off, just click on the tick box beside it. When you're finished, click anywhere else on the HUD to minimize it again. Note that you can set the default notification options using the _config card (see below).


The Slightly More Complex Stuff

Right-click your HUD and choose "Edit" from the Second Life pie-menu that appears. (If you only see the mini-build window now, click More>>>). Now click on the "Contents" tab in the Second Life Build Window and you'll see the inventory inside your HUD. Double click on the "_config" notecard to edit it. There are some settings here you can change, by editing the text that appears after the command words in upper case. After any changes, close and save the notecard, then reset the HUD (hold down your mouse over the HUD until you get a menu, then choose "Reset").

PASSWORD: <text>
e.g. PASSWORD: mysecretphrase
- The password is used to encrypt communications between your HUD and your sensors; without it, no nefarious person (or confused person who thinks you're a manager of one of their stores) can send you messages. We recommend you change this immediately to something secret (you'll need to put the same in your sensor configuration cards, see below).

CHECK FOR COMMUNICATIONS: <time in seconds>
e.g. CHECK FOR COMMUNICATIONS: 10
- Defines how frequently should your HUD check its email queue to see if it has alerts. The higher this figure, the less lag your HUD will cause; don't put it too high, though — it defeats the point, somewhat, to turn up to see a visitor three hours after they've left!

MAXIMUM MESSAGES TO REPORT AT ONCE: <number>
e.g. MAXIMUM MESSAGES TO REPORT AT ONCE: 5
- If the HUD receives several alerts at once, how many should it actually show you (in chat, if that's turned on). Set this low enough so that you don't get spammed if you run the Grid's most popular store, but high enough that you still get the reminders you want.

POPUPS CLOSE AFTER: <time in seconds>
e.g. POPUPS CLOSE AFTER: 30
- How many seconds should a popup notification window stay open for? (Remember, you can close it manually by clicking on it).

You can also set the default notification methods the HUD uses (pop-up, sound, chat) using the _config card, too. Use these commands:

DEFAULT ALERT POP-UPS: <Yes/No>
e.g. DEFAULT ALERT POP-UPS: Yes
- By default, will an alert trigger a HUD pop-up window?

DEFAULT ALERT SOUND: <Yes/No>
e.g. DEFAULT ALERT SOUND: Yes
- By default, will an alert play a sound?

DEFAULT ALERT CHAT: <Yes/No>
e.g. DEFAULT ALERT CHAT: Yes
- By default, will an alert chat the visitor's details to you?


HUD Menus

The last thing you can do with your HUD is interact with it via its menu system. To do this, hold down your mouse for approximately two seconds on the HUD until a blue dialog menu appears. You'll see three options:

SENSOR LIST - allows you to see (or clear) a list of the last 25 sensors (and their locations) which have sent an alert to this HUD.

RESET: Resets the HUD, reconnects to its hub.

HELP - gives you a copy of this notecard.



3. Configuring a Sensor

In the Getting Started section above, we zipped through sensors very quickly. But there's a lot you can do with a sensor. Let's start with the menu that appears when you click one. You'll see it consists of six options:

HIDE PRIM / SHOW PRIM - Instantly hides (100% transparency) or reveals the sensor prim. Once it's positioned and in place, you'll probably want to hide it so as not to confuse your visitors. Remember that a sensor reports a visit when somebody *walks through* the prim; so doorways are good places to rez them.

VISITOR LIST - Allows you to view or clear the visitor list (holds the last 80 unique visitors).

STATUS - Reports the memory condition of the sensor and its database. (You shouldn't often need to use this, but it's a useful diagnostic tool if anything ever does go wrong).

TEST COMMS - Send a test message to both the hub and the HUD to check communications is working.

RESET - resets your sensor unit (this won't wipe the visitor list; it will wipe the temporary list the unit holds of the last 50 visitors, used to prevent you getting multiple notifications of the same visitor).

HELP - gives a copy of this notecard.


Sensor Configuration Notecards

More advanced sensor settings can be tweaked by editing the "_config" notecard that lives inside your sensor. Right-click your sensor and choose "Edit" from the Second Life pie-menu that appears. (If you only see the mini-build window now, click More>>>). Now click on the "Contents" tab in the Second Life Build Window and double click on the "_config" notecard to edit it. There are some settings here you can change, by editing the text that appears after the command words in upper case. After any changes, close and save the notecard, then reset the sensor using the menu command above.

OWNER HUD PASSWORD: <password>
e.g. OWNER HUD PASSWORD: mysecretphrase
- This needs to be the same as the password set in your HUD (see above). If it's not, your sensor won't be able to communicate with your HUD.

OWNER HUD MESSAGE: <text>
e.g. OWNER HUD MESSAGE: Your store at <location> is being visited by <visitor name>.
- The message you'd like to be sent to your HUD when this sensor detects a visitor. Note, you can use "variables" in a message ... <location> gets replaced when the message is sent with the sensor's location, <visitor name> with the name of the visitor and you can also use <owner name> which will be replaced with your name.

As you may remember from earlier, a sensor can send a notification to up to ten managers when a visitor is reported. Manager details are set using these commands ...

MANAGER 1 NAME: <name>
e.g. MANAGER 1 NAME: Pathfinder Linden
- The name of the manager, exactly as it appears in Second Life. (And they must have a hippoVISIT system and a hub registered, or when you load the configuration, you'll get an error message).

MANAGER 1 HUD PASSWORD: <password>
e.g. MANAGER 1 HUD PASSWORD: topsecret
- The manager's HUD password. Without it, your sensor won't be able to reach them.

MANAGER 1 HUD MESSAGE: <text>
e.g. MANAGER 1 HUD MESSAGE: <owner name>'s store at <location> is being visited by <visitor name>. What do we pay you for? Get over there!
- The message to send to this manager. As with the OWNER HUD MESSAGE command described above, you can use variables.

You'll see from the "_config" notecard that you can configure settings in the same way for up to ten managers (version 2.0 or higher) or five managers (older versions).

IGNORE ME: <Yes/No>
e.g. IGNORE ME: No
- Should the sensor ignore you when you walk through it? Normally it's good to set this to "Yes", but when first setting up hippoVISIT leaving it as "No" lets you easily test the system is working.

IGNORE MANAGERS: <Yes/No>
e.g. IGNORE MANAGERS: No
- As above, but for managers.

IGNORE LIST: <names> (Version 2.0 only)
e.g. IGNORE LIST: Darth Vader, Ming TheMercilless, Baron Greenback, Bill Gates
- A list of names of people the sensor should ignore. Can be useful if the store owner next to you keeps accidentally wandering through your sensor, for example.

IGNORE GROUP MEMBERS: <Yes/No>
e.g. IGNORE GROUP MEMBERS: Yes
- If set to 'Yes', the sensor will simply ignore any visitors who are members of (and have active) the same group as it is.

DON'T SEND ALERTS IF OWNER OR MANAGERS ARE WITHIN: <range in metres>
e.g. DON'T SEND ALERTS IF OWNER OR MANAGERS ARE WITHIN: 10
- Tells the sensor to check within the specified range for its owner (or any named managers) before sending out an alert. This is useful because it means if you or a manager is staffing your store, for example, you won't get bothered by alerts. To disable this feature, just use DON'T SEND ALERTS IF OWNER OR MANAGERS ARE WITHIN: 0 and the check won't be carried out. Remember that Second Life sensor scans have a range of about 96m, so don't use values above this.

MANAGERS CAN USE MENU: <Yes/No>
e.g. MANAGERS CAN USE MENU: Yes
- Can managers named in the "_config" card click the sensor and use its menus?

REPEAT VISIT THRESHOLD: <time in minutes>
e.g. REPEAT VISIT THRESHOLD: 720
- How many minutes should pass between visits by the *same* avatar before it is counted as unique and another reminder sent? (The sensor remembers the last 50 visitors to avoid sending multiple reminders, as well as takes this setting into account).

MINIMUM TIME BETWEEN MESSAGES: <time in seconds>
e.g. MINIMUM TIME BETWEEN MESSAGES: 40
- How many seconds must pass before a sensor can message you again? If you have a busy store, for example, you may not want a reminder every 5 seconds that somebody has walked in! Setting this value high enough means you'll get peace and quiet but still get the notifications you need to stay in touch with your customers.

GREETING: <text>
e.g. GREETING: Hello, <visitor name>, welcome to the Hippo Technologies Main Store!
- Configure a greeting to greet visitors with when they arrive. (Set this to blank if you don't want any message).
>> Advanced Tip: Use the "pipe" symbol (|) to insert a line break into a greeting; e.g. GREETING: Welcome to My Store!|Have a look upstairs for great new bargains.

REPORT BIRTHDATE AND STATUS: <Yes/No>
e.g. REPORT BIRTHDATE AND STATUS: Yes
- If set to 'Yes', then the sensor will also inform your HUD of a visitor's Second Life birthdate and payment status (payment info on file and/or used) --- the HUD will report this when it chats details (not in the pop-up window).

The next three commands let you have the sensor send you email bulletins ...

EMAIL REPORT TO: <email address>
e.g. EMAIL REPORT TO: wootwehavevisitors@loadsofmoney.com
- The email address to send reports to

EMAIL FREQUENCY: <time in hours>
e.g. EMAIL FREQUENCY: 10
- Defines ow frequently should a report be sent.

RESET LIST AFTER EACH EMAIL: <Yes/No>
e.g. RESET LIST AFTER EACH EMAIL: Yes
- If you wish, the sensor can reset its list of visitors that it uses for email reports after each email; just use RESET LIST AFTER EACH EMAIL: Yes option. After each email (either triggered by the timer, or by the 'Email Now' menu command) the list will be reset. This is useful for sensors with little traffic that might otherwise report the same information to you in each email (an emails contains about 30-40 names and date/times on it).

Email reports consist of the last batch of visitors to cross the sensor -- emails out of Second Life have a size limit; in practice, an email report can fit about 30-40 names, dates and times onto it.

There are also some more complex settings that advanced users can use to adjust how a sensor operates ...

SCAN MODE: <Collide/Sensor>
e.g. SCAN MODE: Collide
- By default, a hippoVISIT sensor detects a visitor who passes through it. You can, if you wish, have it use a sensor sweep instead (SCAN MODE: Sensor). If you do, you'll need to use these next two commands ...

SENSOR RANGE: <range in metres from 1 to 96>
e.g. SENSOR RANGE: 20
- If running your sensor unit in sensor mode (see above), this setting determines the range in metres of each sensor sweep.

LIMIT SENSOR TO PARCEL: <Yes/No>
e.g. LIMIT SENSOR TO PARCEL: Yes
- If running your sensor in sensor mode (see above), this setting tells it only to detect people within range (see above) who *are on the same land parcel as the sensor unit*. (Note land parcel detection works by comparing land parcel names; so ensure the land parcel does not have an identical name to those around it, or this won't work).

SENSOR FREQUENCY: <time in seconds>
e.g. SENSOR FREQUENCY: 5
- If running your sensor unit in sensor mode (see above), this setting determines the number of seconds between each sensor sweep. The higher the number, the less frequently your unit will scan (but the lower the lag produced).

RUN IN SLAVE MODE: <Yes/No>
e.g. RUN IN SLAVE MODE: No
- If you wish, you can run a sensor in "slave" mode. In this mode, it won't log any visits or send any alerts; instead it will report to a "master" sensor (one set to SLAVE MODE: No and with the same networking settings (see below)). This is useful in, for example, a store with several entrances. Use one master and several slave sensors and a visitor won't cause two alerts by walking in one door and out another! You'll need to use these next two commands to fully utilize this function ...

NETWORK CHANNEL: <voice channel number>
e.g. NETWORK CHANNEL: -1000
- The chat channel number for master and slave sensors to communicate on. Large, negative numbers cause the least lag. If you're not using communications, keep this set to 0 to turn off the listener a master sensor would otherwise use. Note, communication only works within the same sim.

NETWORK PASSPHRASE: <text>
e.g. NETWORK PASSPHRASE: ribbitsaidtherabbit
- Any string of characters will do; it's used to encrypt communications between your master and slave sensors. Just ensure you put *exactly* the same passphrase into each sensor that needs to be communicating.

REPORT SLAVE RATHER THAN MASTER LOCATION: <Yes/No> (Sensor versions 2.1 and higher)
e.g. REPORT SLAVE RATHER THAN MASTER LOCATION: Yes
- If you are are using master and slave sensors then by default the location reported when somebody trips a slave sensor is that of the master. (This is useful if you have one store with, say, several entrances — no matter which door somebody enters through, you want to be told the location of the master sensor). However, there are some scenarios whereby you may want the location of the slave sensor that was actually tripped to be reported to your HUD. By using REPORT SLAVE RATHER THAN MASTER LOCATION: Yes you can now achieve this.

This next command is useful if you’re not on the same time zone as Second Life and would like the visitor logs to reflect something other than the usual Second Life time ...

TIME ZONE OFFSET: <hours> (Sensor versions 2.1 and higher)
e.g. TIME ZONE OFFSET: <3>
- This tells the sensor how much to offset the time zone by; so, for example, to record visitor times in GMT, you’d use TIME ZONE OFFSET: 8. (If you’re behind SL time, you can use a negative value in this command, too).

command in a sensor's config notecard to adjust the time zone (the base line is standard SL time). So, for example, to log visitor times in GMT, you'd use TIME ZONE OFFSET: 8.

If you subscribe to our hippoGROUPS product, then you might want to use this next function and its two related commands ....

ADD TO HIPPOGROUP: <name of hippoGROUP>
e.g. ADD TO HIPPOGROUP: My Visitors
- If you’re a subscriber to our hippoGROUPS package, you can have unique visitors added to the hippoGROUP you specify. Click here for more information on hippoGROUPS and what it can do for you.

ASK BEFORE ADDING TO HIPPOGROUP: <Yes/No> (Sensor versions 2.0 and higher only)
e.g. ASK BEFORE ADDING TO HIPPOGROUP: Yes
- If set to 'Yes', the visitor will be shown a dialog menu asking whether or not they wish to join your hippoGROUP before they're added.

REQUEST MESSAGE: <message> (Sensor versions 2.0 and higher only)
e.g. REQUEST MESSAGE: Ludwig Wittgenstein would like to add you to their hippoGROUP 'Postmodern Futility'. Is this okay?
- The message shown in the dialog menu window.



Final Sensor Tricks

The final thing a sensor can do is to give out items to visitors. A sensor can give a notecard, landmark, texture or object (or any combination thereof) to each unique visitor. Simply add the item or items to the sensor's inventory (CTRL-drag them from your own is perhaps easiest). Note: if you add more than one of each kind (e.g. two landmarks), the sensor will give out the first alphabetically.



4. Troubleshooting

That's it; everything you need to know about using and configuring hippoVISIT. We're sure you'll find it a useful business tool. Here are answers, however, to a few questions that may arise ...

Q: "I'm testing my sensor and I walked through it once, got a message, but didn't the second time. Why?"
- Sensors remember the last 50 people (and log the last 80) who passed through them, to avoid sending repeat messages. If you want to circumvent this, click the sensor and reset it.

Q: "I'm not sure my HUD is talking to my hub - why not?"
- Use the "Test Comms" menu command on a sensor to test communications (the hub will whisper success, as will the HUD). Things to check: passwords the same in sensor and HUD? Have you moved your hub? If so, reset sensors or wait 24 hours for them to reconnect. If your HUD is failing, are you trying to use it on no-script land?



We hope that you enjoy using your hippoVISIT system.

We recommend to all customers that they join the Hippo Technologies Users Group in Second Life (search for it, the group is open enrollment). It’s a friendly community and lots of advice, tips and support can often be found by asking nicely!

<< Back