Smartphones are uniquely positioned to offer a new breed of location and proximity aware applications that can harness the benefits provided by positioning technologies such as GPS, and advancements in radio communication technologies such as Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth low energy (BLE).
The popularity of location aware applications, that make use of technologies such as GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G, has further strained the already frail battery life that current generation smartphones exhibit. This research project is aimed to perform a comparative assessment of NFC, BLE and Classic Bluetooth (BT) for the purpose of establishing proximity awareness in mobile devices. We demonstrate techniques; in the context of a mobile application to provide seamless proximity awareness using the three technologies, with focus on accuracy and operational range. We present the results of our research and experimentation for the purpose of creating a baseline for proximity estimation using the three technologies.
We further investigate the viability of using BT as the underlying wireless technology for peer to peer networking on mobile devices and demonstrate techniques that can be applied programmatically for automatic detection of nearby mobile devices.