Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bluetooth "Big Brother" tracks festival-goers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -

Researchers are using Bluetooth technology to observe the meanderings of tens of thousands of festival-goers at a top European rock festival, hoping their findings will launch a new generation of tracking devices.

The team from the University of Ghent in Belgium believes the research could yield new satellite navigation applications for the retail and security sectors.

"We have installed 36 Bluetooth scanners across the site and along a few surrounding roads, as well as bus stops," the university's Nico Van de Weghe said on Friday of the project at the Werchter festival, northeast of Brussels this weekend.

Within a radius of 30 meters, the scanners track mobile phones equipped with Bluetooth, a type of short-range wireless technology which allows different devices to connect with one another, often to transfer files.


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