Archives for posts with tag: bluetooth

Pretty much everyone has a mobile phone. When you are doing ubicomp prototyping it is often difficult to do field tests on large systems because there is normally a shortage of devices you can use in a field trial, and/or it is difficult to get users to carry around and charge a secondary device. Bluetooth is an excellent method of approximating identity and proximity detection for ubicomp systems.

I have developed a really simple, fast, easy to use bluetooth scanning system, that users RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicators) to determine Nearness/Far-ness, as well as perform Asynchronous name lookups, and find hidden bluetooth devices, for the use in prototyping systems that detect nearby users:


Not sure if we’ve covered this, but Intel’s Jabberwocky apperently lets you war-walk with your bluetooth cellphone.  It remembers who you’ve seen and at what time, so you can see if there’s a particular stranger who you encounter everyday.

I’m not sure if I would consider this to be an invasion of my privacy, since no single entity is persistently tracking me.  But if they uploaded this data and aggregated it…

Yahoo seems to be doing some interesting stuff with Bluetooth tracking and MyBlogLog. They’re using a java applet to poll which bluetooth devices are nearby, and figuring out who you encounter often. I think there was a study done using this kind of technique earlier, but I can’t remember who did it.

In this context, privacy is obviously a concern. But at least the people installing the software are aware that they’re being tracked. Or do they? Dun dun dunnnnn!

Via ReadWriteWeb

Naya, F., Noma, H., Ohmura, R., and Kogure, K. 2005. Bluetooth-based Indoor Proximity Sensing for Nursing Context Awareness. In Proceedings of the Ninth IEEE international Symposium on Wearable Computers (October 18 – 21, 2005). ISWC. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 212-213. DOI=

This is not a very good article for learning a lot about Bluetooth, however, for people familiar with Bluetooth it does talk about a few interesting ways of using Bluetooth for proximity detection, and how you can improve upon the simple method I am currently using.