Bluetooth Device Tracking Update 3

Our Project is Ending

It is that time of the year where everything is winding down here at the LCDI. Finals are upon us and the end of the working semester is here. What does this mean for our project though? Everyone at the office is heading home for the holidays, including the Bluetooth team. This means that our current project on Bluetooth tracking has come to a close. We made substantial progress in developing our own system. Unfortunately, the semester has ended too soon.

What We Have so Far

We created a Python script that employs BlueHydra and Ubertooth tools, while connecting to three nodes. We built our script from the ground up to identify Bluetooth Low Energy, Classic, and undiscoverable Bluetooth devices. Our script can also estimate the distance a device is away from each node. We use these measurements to calculate an average distance. Bluetooth tracking is far more accurate when using multiple nodes in tandem. For our nodes we used three ODroid microcomputers equipped with Bluetooth dongles and an Ubertooth. When run, our script can pick up the second half of a device’s Bluetooth Address. It also picks up RSSI value, time last seen, and approximate distance to the device.

What We Want to Improve On

Looking forward, the team’s priority would be to finish our 2D trilateration scripts. Then we would add 3D capabilities and insert graphical outputs for tracking. While we made significant progress in creating 2D scripts, we ran out of time to implement full functionality. Given more time to test the nodes we could have further improved the current scripts. This includes combining both BlueHydra and Ubertooth outputs into a single program. The next step for Bluetooth tracking would be 3D Triangulation with the Ubertooths. The transition would include a third secondary node and multiprocessing. This would make it more efficient in calculating the coordinates of a device. After 3D trilateration, we would create a graphical output for the coordinates. The team would achieve this by plotting the various points on a mapping API. In short, future possibilities for Bluetooth tracking are bright.

Thank You for Following Bluetooth tracking

We would like to say thank you for following our Bluetooth Tracking project. We have had a great semester delving into the Bluetooth protocol and figuring out how to track it. While the LCDI is concluding its research on this topic, there is so much more that could be done on this subject. We hope those of you interested in this project will further our work and create a fully-fledged Bluetooth tracker. Best of luck, and happy tracking!
-Bluetooth Tracking Team, Fall 2017
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