Unique approaches and solutions powering our products
BlueFox technology is protected by five United States patents and dozens of trade secrets. Our solutions integrate passive Wi-Fi sensors, cloud-based applications, and mobile apps for iPhone and Android. Nonetheless, the bulk of our engineering effort is invested in our scalable cloud systems to collect, analyze, and report real-time and historical consumer behavior.
BlueFox goes to extreme lengths to protect consumer privacy. We do not resell data. We collect MAC addresses, but encrypt them on our sensors at the moment of collection and delete their encrypted form after transmission to our servers. We do not correlate MAC addresses with any personal information.
BlueFox takes advantage of the ubiquity of mobile phones in the developed and developing worlds. We passively listen to spontaneous Wi-Fi emissions (“probes”) from mobile phones to measure the occupancy of a space and the aggregate flow of mobile phones through a space. The accuracy of our results depends on statistics and analytics and is optimal at many dozens or hundreds of mobiles, and less precise at very small numbers of phones.
In this section you can review the evolution of Wi-Fi in mobile devices and how mobile phone manufacturers have progressively moved from sharing static phone identifiers (i.e. “True” MAC addresses) to ephemeral phone identifiers (i.e. “randomized” or “Local” MAC addresses).
The technology landscape for measuring occupancy of a space is broad. First, technologies are divided between those that measure entrances and exits across a perimeter to infer occupancy, those that measure occupancy directly, and those that track consumers *everywhere* using mobile applications and GPS.
BlueFox products respect the privacy of all consumers and are certified compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by ePrivacy. Unlike mobile apps, BlueFox products collect no personal information, and depend on the MAC (media access control) address broadcast by mobile phones to distinguish one mobile phone from another on a Wi-Fi network.
Mobile devices use primarily two technologies to communicate: cellular networks and Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi networks are often preferred because Wi-Fi communications are widely available at no cost to the consumer and rarely impose connectivity limits. Ninety-eight percent (98%) of all mobile phones actively use Wi-Fi. Mobile phones identify available networks by broadcasting “probes” that say “I am here; is anybody out there?”. The phone identifies itself by broadcasting its MAC address.
Role of calibration
Measuring the foot-traffic of a booth within a retail store, shopping mall, or airport duty-free is difficult. Perimeter-watching solutions are unsuitable because there are no physical boundaries to separate the “booth” from its environment.
Our solution not only counts foot-traffic at a distance from the booth but can also differentiate passersby from real shoppers who spend a certain amount of time around the booth.
Patents & trade secrets
The BlueFox products are protected by six US and four World International Patent Organization patents. Other patents are in process.
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