With the emergence of the Internet of Things in smart homes and buildings, determining the identity and mobility of people are key to realizing personalized, context-aware and location-based services - such as adjusting lights and temperature as well as setting preferences of electronic devices in the vicinity.
Conventional electronic user identification approaches either require proactive cooperation by users or deployment of dedicated infrastructure. Consequently, existing approaches are intrusive, inconvenient, or expensive to ubiquitously implement. For example: biometric identification requires specific hardware and physical interaction; and vision-based (video) approaches need favorable lighting and introduce privacy issues.
To address this situation, researchers at UC Berkeley developed an identification system that uses existing, pervasive WiFi infrastructure and users' WiFi-enabled devices. The innovative Berkeley technology cleverly leverages attributes such as the MAC address and RSS of users' WiFi-enabled devices. Furthermore, the Berkeley approach is facilitated by an unsupervised learning scheme that maps each user identification with associated WiFi-enabled devices. This technology could serve as a vital underpinning for practical personalized context-aware and location-based services in the era of the Internet of Things.
Personalized, context-aware and location-based services