HomeScout: A modular Bluetooth Low Energy Sensing App

State: Assigned to Dylan Puser, Remo Hertig, Zhishan Yan
Published: 2022-03-28

This project focuses on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices and cross-platform app development. Since Apple's AirTag release, there has been continuous interest in the tracker's ability to protect users' privacy and protect them from being spied on or stalked [1, 2,], among other more mundane use cases such as tracking a lost cat [3].  

Nevertheless, this opens up the world to many other scenarios, where any BLE device can be attached to Apple's Find My network [4], perhaps making any BLE-enabled device trackable. Therefore, designing an application that tracks any BLE devices that come in contact with the user's smartphone could be beneficial. As such, this project has four components:

  1. Scanning for BLE devices
  2. Identifying BLE devices and keeping track of them
  3. Categorizing BLE devices: friendly/known devices vs. unfriendly/unknown devices
  4. Alert the user to unknown devices that have been found in the same location

Project Question: How can we track any BLE device from our smartphones and identify it and the device's manufacturer? How to keep track of recurringly identified devices and locations? What would be the best way to categorize friendly vs. unfriendly devices?

[1] https://eu.usatoday.com/story/tech/2022/02/10/apple-airtags-privacy-update-stalking/6738071001/

[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-60004257

[3] https://tidbits.com/2021/05/15/13-airtag-tracking-scenarios/

[4] https://github.com/seemoo-lab/openhaystack#finding-3

30% Design, 60% Implementation, 10% Documentation
Some experience or interest in app development with Flutter/Dart

Supervisors: Katharina O. E. Müller

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