John Kotz

Mobile Developer

Encounters Study

During winter term of 2015 I worked for a Dartmouth graduate student (Dr. Aarathi Prasad) to help her complete her thesis project. I wrote an iOS app (in Swift) that tracked iBeacons and submitted the data to a server which she wrote (Django) and I helped on.

The Encounters study was an attempt to map encounters between people using bluetooth iBeacons and an iOS app. Using RadBeacon Dots (manufactured by Radius Networks) placed all over Dartmouth Campus, the iOS app (for iPhones and iPods) gathered data about where a user was using nearby beacons, wifi BSSID, and GPS location data (although we only ended up using the beacons). All that data was uploaded to a server we had written in Django and stored there in a database. Every time data from two devices was uploaded that corresponded to the same place at around the same time, the server would send a push notification to each device. Upon opening the app after such an encounter, the user would be presented with a number of confirmations of their location at certain times during the day, making sure the two devices were in fact in the same place

We put the app out on TestFlight and shared it with all of our test subjects in order to distribute it, and after collecting a large ammount of data the server began to show marked improvement in its ability to guess what building, area, and even room users were in at any time


Prof. Aarathi Prasad

Amherst College: