There are many different ways that can be taken into account in order to detect the MAC address of the smartphones carried by users/visitors/pedestrians and associate an unique identifier (e.g. name and last name, email address, Facebook profile etc..) with their explicit consent.
Using an App
(does not work with iOS >= 7)
If you are planning to develop (or if you already have) your custom App, you can think about register the MAC addresses of the smartphones using the App itself. When users install your App and they open it for the very first time, they can be asked to insert a unique identifier. The MAC address of the smartphone will be automatically retrieved by the App itself using the public libraries of the operating system. Here you can find the libraries for different operating system:
Using the Wi-Fi connection of the Open Mesh network
It is possible to register the MAC addresses of Wi-Fi devices connected to the Open Mesh nodes. It is very simple and you can test this registration method in less than 10 minutes. Here is step by step what you need to do:
- Setup one or more nodes by following the Setup guides that you can find on the LEFT menu of this page
- Login to Cloudtrax at this link
- Click on Configure > SSID 1
- Click on the the SSID#1 tab (the Public SSID)
- Turn on Enable and Visible
- (optional) Turn on Authentication, set a WPA password for your network and turn on WPA2-only
- Enable the Splash Page switch: the splash page is the landing page shown immediately as soon as users will connect to the SSID 1 broadcasted by your Open Mesh nodes. You can customize the splash page hosted on the Open Mesh nodes by clicking on the Edit Splash page button. It is something really easy to do by following this guide.
- Select CloudTrax under Splash page authentication
- Set the Redirect URL: the URL to the page that will be launched/displayed after the splash page. The Redirect URL will point to the listener (hosted by your preferred hosting provider) that will catch the MAC address of the users connected to the Open Mesh network.
- Enable the flag Include user data in Redirect URL: by enabling this flag additional information specific to the request is added as URL parameters when the final redirect occurs. The parameters node_mac, client_mac, and client_url will be set to the MAC addresses of the access point and Client, and the original request URL, respectively.
- Click the Save Changes button in the top-right corner of the page.
- Wait 5 minutes for the propagation of the changes.
Using the Wi-Fi connection provided by an existing Wi-Fi network
This solution works with smartphones connected (at least for the registration process):
- to your WLAN (we need access to the DHCP server).
- or to the WLAN provided by the Open Mesh nodes.
We implemented an HTTP service called “MyMacService”. Here is how it works:
- The “MyMacService” periodically queries the DHCP servers that provide the IP addresses to the smartphones connected to the WLAN. The retrieved information is a list where each IP addresses is paired to the MAC addresses of the smartphone that leased it.
- The very first time your App is activated, it has to query the MyMacService API (through the GET in the image below) supplying the IP address of the smartphone on which the App itself is running on. This query will be done just once because the MAC address never changes.
- The “MyMacService” scans the DHCP lease table and send the MAC address back to the smartphone.
Using an Open Mesh node as a scanner
Users can also be registered by asking them to wave their smartphones over an Open Mesh node (e.g. placed at a registration desk). You basically need to create a very simple application for your PC, able to call a the Accuware Magic Touch API that will allow you to detect the MAC addresses of the smartphones waved on an Open Mesh node. In this page you can find all the information you need about the Accuware Magic Touch API.