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Re: Bluetooth people presence detector :)

by davido (Archbishop)
on Nov 09, 2006 at 05:52 UTC ( #583045=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Bluetooth people presence detector :)

What's scary is that Bluetooth makes this possible. Imagine the implications. Right now, we take care to clear our cookies once in awhile so that we can't be tracked by websites. But imagine shopping malls, casinos, and so on, tracking bluetooth devices and profiling them. Eventually lcd and plasma billboards could tailor their ads to high rollers as they walk past, for example. Companies could crop up that specialize in maintaining profile databases across multiple businesses. Data munging could deduce that whenever a particular bluetooth address is nearby someone orders a hamburger with extra pickles......

I think Juerd's script is pretty cool. But it did open my eyes a little.


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Re^2: Bluetooth people presence detector :)
by Juerd (Abbot) on Nov 09, 2006 at 11:30 UTC

    This trick works because on my phone, bluetooth is set to "visible". You don't have to do that in order to use bluetooth, but without visibility, you need a connection attempt to find out who's there and who isn't, and the distance to the bluetooth dongle within which a good connection can be made is usually smaller that for scanning.

    Your supermarket would probably more easily scan and recognise your face, just like the people at the supermarket have always been able to.

    Juerd # { site => '', do_not_use => 'spamtrap', perl6_server => 'feather' }

Re^2: Bluetooth people presence detector :)
by gellyfish (Monsignor) on Nov 09, 2006 at 11:51 UTC

    Well to be honest they could do this with mobile phones without bluetooth and possibly more reliably: I had a conversation with a senior IT guy at a large UK retailer about using GSM picocells in the stores to do just this - the advantage here is the phone actively registers with the cell rather than being "discovered". I'm sure I've heard of some mobile telco that gives a discount if you are prepared to have location based advertising pushed at you via SMS. And then there is the RFID chip in your store card ...


Re^2: Bluetooth people presence detector :)
by rinceWind (Monsignor) on Nov 09, 2006 at 17:21 UTC

    In terms of total people volumes, a company called shoppertrak has been providing technology to do this for at least 10 years.

    This used a hidden camera, and the people appeared as fuzzy blobs; it was relatively easy to see how long individuals are dwelling at a particular shelf or display. Camera technology has definitely come a long way in the last 10 years, so there are probably many more features available today. I've been out of that sector since May 1997.


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