Frequently Asked Questions

Getting started

How do you install Vismo?

An email and/or SMS invitation is sent from the Vismo Secure Portal. The invitation contains a link to download the Vismo App from the Smartphone’s local App Store, together with an invitation code to activate the App.

What devices can Vismo be installed on?

Vismo is compatible with Android and iOS devices, as well as some Windows Phones and BlackBerry devices. Vismo is also available for some satellite devices, such as the Iridium Extreme, RockSTAR, RockFLEET, RockAIR and NAL Shout.

A lot of our overseas staff are on Android phones, please can you confirm the current status of the App for use on Android Phones?

The Vismo App is compatible with most conventional Android devices with an OS of 4.4 or higher. It is required that Vismo allowed to access location services upon installation of the App.

What does the device owner need to do?

Apart from the initial download, no further user input is required. Once Vismo is active, it will run in the background of the user’s device and report regular location information to the Secure Portal.

Will it work as a Background App?

Yes, Vismo will work in the background of a Smartphone and continue to report regular location updates. Following the recent iOS 11 update, it is important to ensure that Vismo is allowed to always access location services on Apple devices, not only when the App is in use, as this means Vismo is only able to report location information while the App is open on their device.

How do other organisations monitor/ manage the panic button response?

Some organisations operate their own 24/7 Control Centre who monitor and respond to traveller’s alerts. Other organisations may outsource this to 3rd parties who take on these tasks. For advice, please get in touch with the Vismo Team.

Why is Vismo better than on-demand location systems?

Vismo is primarily used to provide care and protection to travelling employees. Should a global incident occur - earthquake, civil unrest, explosion, terrorist incident for example - it's quite possible that the mobile networks could quickly become saturated and the device may be damaged or deliberately broken or discarded. An on-demand system would have little chance of locating an employee in these situations but Vismo allows the Control Centre to always be aware of the traveller’s last known location to provide an instant response.

Will I be able to check whether or not my device is switched on?

It is possible to review the location report to recognise times when the device has been switched off by looking at the correlation between battery level and time between each location fix.

It is possible to request a location update from iOS devices from the Vismo Secure Portal, however, there is no general feature that supplies this information; if the device keeps reporting fixes, this indicates that the device is still on.

Can I tell when someone has turned the device off?

It is possible to review the location report to recognise times when the device has been switched off by looking at the correlation between battery level and time between each location fix.

It is also possible to configure alerts that notify relevant personnel of when the battery level of a device drops below a certain percentage.


Does GPS work indoors?

When indoors, Vismo may be able to get GPS fixes if the device is located near a window. If GPS services are unavailable, Vismo will draw location information from either Wi-Fi Access points or the nearest Cell Tower, which are slightly less accurate than GPS, but will still provide a decent estimate of the traveller’s location.

Why haven't I had any fixes at all?

Ensure that Vismo has been activated on the device. Open the Vismo App – the blue magnifying glass icon containing a globe. If the screen request that you activate Vismo either via username and password or an invitation code, the App is inactive and must be activated to be able to report location information. If you are unable to activate the App, please contact your Account Administrator.

Why has the device stopped locating when it was working?

A stop in location information can be due to:

The device being off:

If the device is switched off or has run out of battery, location information will not be reported to the Secure Portal.

The device is out of coverage:

In remote areas there can be very patchy coverage. It is still possible to have both SMS and voice coverage without having data coverage, but Vismo requires data coverage to be able to send back locations. If there is no data coverage, it will record the locations and report them to the Secure Portal once data coverage has been restored.

But I have just spoken to or exchanged SMS with the device holder so I know the phone is on?

The device may only be turned on for short intervals or not during a scheduled fix time:
The device may be turned off for significant periods of time, for example for a meeting and only turned on for 2 or 3 minutes at a time to send an SMS or make a short call. If this is the case then these small periods may not be sufficient to get and send a location back. Even if you have spoken to the device holder, it is possible that the device isn't being left on long enough after this time to get a location.

A further possibility is that the device is being turned on regularly but not when a location fix is scheduled. During the night, for instance, a location may be attempted every hour only. If the phone is on for 50 minutes and then turned off, it's possible that it might miss the location schedule and hence it will be a further hour before another attempt is made.

What happens if the device doesn’t have data coverage?

Vismo does use GPRS data to send back location information. If there is no data coverage, Vismo will store the location information until mobile data coverage or a Wi-Fi connection is restored.

Will it work anywhere in the world?

Vismo is currently operating in 190 countries globally. 
In high-threat areas such as Syria and Iraq, the mobile infrastructure can be compromised by governments and can be non-existent in some places. For these circumstances, we would recommend the use of a satellite device such as the Iridium Extreme, which can support Vismo.

Why haven't I had any Vismo locations abroad when it worked at home and I know the device holder has arrived?

When travelling internationally, the device will be either switched off or in flight mode during transit. Upon arrival to a new country, it is important that the traveller has Roaming Services enabled so Vismo can report location information. If Roaming is not enabled, Vismo will record and store any location information until data coverage has been achieved, and this will also trigger a Country Change alert.

Why don't the Satellite Pictures look right?

The satellite photography comes from Google and can sometimes be up to a year or more out of date. It might therefore be possible that old road layouts, buildings and construction sites are pictured where the current surroundings have evolved.

Why isn't the text address shown quite right?

The text address shown on Vismo is also provided by Google using something called Reverse Geo-coding. This takes a latitude and longitude and returns an appropriate road name, area, city etc. The accuracy of this information can vary and in certain countries it can sometimes be quite vague. In these cases, it is better to view the map to determine the locale around the fix.


How accurate are the fixes?

On average GPS fixes are typically accurate to around 5-60m. Wi-Fi Access Points are accurate to about 100m on average, whereas a cell-tower location can be accurate to around 300m on average – however, this depends on the remoteness of the cell-towers.

Roamed data can be expensive – how much data does Vismo use?

Vismo has been optimised to use a minimal amount of data. Getting locations every 15 minutes during the day and once every hour at night will use approximately 6Mb per month. However, the device profile is fully configurable so the frequency can be modified to reduce both battery impact and data usage where required.

Can I request a fix on demand?

Yes, however, this is only available for iOS devices with data coverage available by using a ‘Locate Now’ feature in the Vismo Secure Portal.

How much battery life does Vismo use?

In normal operation, Vismo will use 1-2% of additional battery per day. It is possible to configure the frequency of fixes in the Device Profile to further reduce the impact on battery life.

Privacy and Data Protection

As privacy and data protection are of the upmost importance to a company, please can you confirm where Vismo is hosted?  Who by?  What information is stored? How long is information stored? And how secure are the servers?

Vismo is hosted by Microsoft Azure. The information stored is latitude/longitude of the device, and device telemetry i.e. battery levels and signal strength. The information is stored indefinitely, although individual clients may request that this information is purged from our servers at regular intervals. Vismo is ISO27001 accredited, which is the gold standard of Information Security.


Why isn't the location accurate?

Whenever available, Vismo will get location information from GPS, which are usually highly accurate. When GPS is unavailable, Vismo will draw location information from either Wi-Fi Access points or the nearest Cell Tower, both of which are less accurate than GPS, but still give a decent estimate of the traveller’s location.

Why don't the times of the locations look right?

There are two things that can affect the date and time of the locations shown on the website.

The first is the Time Zone in which you are viewing the website. In the bottom right-hand corner of the portal, you can select the Time Zone so that it matches the country or area where the traveller is staying.

The second thing is the date and time of the device itself. For the locations to appear correct, the date, time and Time Zone need to be set correctly on the device.

If you have any further questions which haven’t been answered throughout the frequently asked questions sections, please don’t hesitate to contact a member from the Vismo Team and we will be happy to assist.