Bluetooth Tracking

By | June 2, 2008

morning rush hour

Research from Purdue University shows that Bluetooth would be a very good way to track travel time. Bluetooth devices give off unique IDs which could be used to measure speed and movement of pedestrians and vehicles.

But why stop there? Wouldn’t it be possible to track people via their Bluetooth signal, if you knew one of their device IDs? Anyway, here’s the abstract (thanks, Roland.)

Travel time is one of the most intuitive and widely understood performance measures. However, it is also one of the most difficult performance measures to accurately estimate. Toll tag tracking has demonstrated the utility of tracking electronic fingerprints to estimate link travel time. However, these devices have a small penetration outside of areas served by toll facilities, and the proprietary tag reading equipment is not widely available. This paper reports on tracking of a wide variety of consumer electronics that already contain unique digital fingerprints.

Method uses ‘Bluetooth’ to track travel time for vehicles, pedestrians

3 thoughts on “Bluetooth Tracking

  1. Michael

    Excerpts from the About page:

    “In Sept 2007 I plugged in a 100-meter USB bluetooth adaptor and I noticed names of phones/devices with bluetooth in the area popping up on my computer screen. This was when the idea to set up a network of scanners around my town (Apeldoorn, the Netherlands) to track people was born.”

    “The amount of data collected from just those 5 locations was impressive. Within a month after I set the network up, I registered over 15,000 unique mobile-phones,carkits, pda’s, navigation systems and many other devices. The matches of phones/devices with bluetooth between locations were obvious. Some phones that were picked up by the sensor in the city center were also picked up by the sensor in other locations. Some of these matches were only minutes apart. Therefore I could even calculate the approximate speed of someone moving from one location to another.”

    Interestingly, virtually the same technique is used by Second Life residents to track virtual users… i.e., planting sensors at various locations to keep a database of unique ids of avatars passing by.

  2. Nik

    It may also be of interest to see how Bluetooth Marketing is being use to promote messages to people, the integration of tracking is going to be a major part of this, check out who are a leader in bluetooth proximity marketing.

  3. Kate W. Cardwell

    Good information however, is there any harm using this? Or is there a security that can users be comfortable not other people hack the info they are receiving and they are transferring?


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