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:

Since this method does not work for iOS >= 7, a simple alternative could be to ask the users to copy and paste the MAC address of the smartphone in a text field made available inside your App (you can also think about adding a very small step-by-step guide which explains how to retrieve the MAC address of an iOS7 device, which is pretty simple “Settings > General > About”).

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:

  1. Setup one or more nodes by following the Setup guides that you can find on the LEFT menu of this page
  2. Login to Cloudtrax at this link
  3. Click on Configure > SSID 1
  4. Click on the the SSID#1 tab (the Public SSID)
  5. Turn on Enable and Visible
  6. (optional) Turn on Authentication, set a WPA password for your network and turn on WPA2-only
  7. 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.
  8. Select CloudTrax under Splash page authentication
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Click the Save Changes button in the top-right corner of the page.
  12. Wait 5 minutes for the propagation of the changes.

The SSID of the Open Mesh network is NOT visible: if you are not able to see the SSID of your Open Mesh network after 5 minutes (even if the SSID is ENABLED and not HIDDEN inside the Cloudtrax dashboard), please submit a support request using this form. The broadcast of the SSID may be inhibited by a special version of the Accuware firmware to lower the noise on the Wi-Fi channel used by the Open Mesh network. Anyway we can push a different firmware on your Open Mesh nodes in few minutes.

Example

In the image below you can find an example of Splash page generated with the Splash page editor. Once the Free Access button inside the Splash Page is pressed (by an user connected to one of the nodes of the Open Mesh network) the MAC address of the Wi-Fi device will be POSTED to the listener.

In the image below the PHP listener catches the MAC address of the device and shows it along with a form in which users are invited to insert a personal identifier, a description of the device and the the Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor credentials along with the siteID in which the device will be registered. The PHP listener MUST be placed on a web server with a PHP engine on it.

After clicking on “Submit”, a simple Javascript (inside the listener itself) registers the MAC address of the device (along with Name and Description provided by the user) inside the list of Known devices of the Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor dashboard by calling this PUT of the Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor API.

Please submit a support request using this form if you want the listener.php file

      

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The “MyMacService” scans the DHCP lease table and send the MAC address back to the smartphone.

The “MyMacService” just described can run either on your server or on our Accuware cloud servers.

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.

 

Example

The Accuware Magic Touch for desktop is an example of implementation of the Magic Touch API which allows the registration of the users very quickly inside the list of “Known devices” of the Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor dashboard. Users have to wave an active Wi-Fi device, such as their smartphones, tablets, laptops and Wi-Fi tags over a node. Once the Wi-Fi device is scanned by the Magic Touch for Desktop, it is possible to associate a label to the MAC address detected and display the device location using the Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor dashboard.

In this page you can find all the information you need if you want to try the Accuware Magic Touch for desktop.