Proof of Concept Report

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Bluetooth Friend Finder

Mark O’Dwyer - 0872709 James Cahill - 0747955 Deirdre Conaghan - 0866415


The idea which our group chose to develop for this project is an application which would let you see if your friends were in the same venue as you. We decided that it would be a Bluetooth application as that would be the most accessible platform for people, with most mobile phones having Bluetooth access. We also agreed that along with the application showing you if your friends are in the same place as you, it could also send you advertisements from the venue and also promotions which are in action there. With this we agreed that though it could be used in different areas, that it would be ideal for nightclubs so we centred our idea around that particular venue.

Technical Merit

Concept Overview:

When we got together as a group to decide what type of technology we wanted to use to create something new with, we were unsure at first, but when we started brainstorming ideas we soon came up with what we thought would be a very useful technology. The initial idea came about by us talking about the different types of Bluetooth applications that already exist and if we could think of something different that could be done with it that people would find useful and enjoyable. So we talked about putting it into a nightclub scenario and what we could achieve with it there. We then started thinking of problems you may face in a nightclub on a regular night. One of us happened to mention that they were out one night and were in a nightclub where one of their friends were and didn’t know that he was there as well until the following day. This sparked the initial thought for our idea and we began discussing the possibilities that a Bluetooth application could do to solve this problem. After investigating the different types of Bluetooth applications and devices available we saw this as a plausible idea.


The Bluetooth Friend Finder is being developed to enable Bluetooth users or anyone with Bluetooth devices in a certain area to find out if there friends are in the same area as them, for free. All they have to do is accept the Bluetooth application on their device and then they can interact with it to find which of their friends are there and allow their friends to find them as well.

Bluetooth: There are many reasons why we chose Bluetooth as our platform for our idea. Firstly, Bluetooth is free for users. Nightclubs can buy our product which will attract more people to the club therefore bringing in more money for them, and people will be attracted to the function because it is helpful and free. Also it is easy to use. There is such a vast range of Bluetooth devices which makes it easier for new devices to be set up and programmed as it has already been greatly developed. It is also easy to use for the user as a large majority of people with mobile phones will be already familiar with Bluetooth and so they will not be learning to use a new, complicated device. Bluetooth has many other different features which appealed to us for our idea:

· It operates on an open frequency within the 2.4 gigahertz band · It is able to share the same frequency band without experiencing any interference · Creates signals which are powerful enough to pass through walls · It has range of up to 30 feet · Data can be transferred up to one megabyte per second · Bluetooth connects devices which come in range of each other using PAN (Personal Area Network)

Technical Description:

To go further into the technical side of our idea we had to investigate already existing Bluetooth applications, find out how they work, what programs they use to run them, and how we were going to send our application to the users who were within a certain premises. After we all went and researched these areas and what technology already existed that we could use, we found that companies use a Bluetooth Marketing System called blue2(as shown in fig 1). This device sends out a signal over 1600+ foot and this would be more than enough range for a nightclub or any other facility which me might also look to target this product. To buy this product online today it would cost you US $299.25 (€217.40). This is not a huge amount for a product that can offer such great marketing services. We would use this in our idea to send out the application to people with Bluetooth devices. The blue2 would be hooked up to a computer with our unique program of the application. After researching the different type of Bluetooth application programs we found that java is the best way to create the application. One of the principle reasons is that the JSR-82 API (Application Programming Interface) hides the complexity of the Bluetooth protocol stack behind a set of Java APIs that gives you the ability to write applications without any knowledge of the underlying Bluetooth hardware or stack and that’s essentially what Java gives you today. Also if you write standard Java code you can run your code on basically any hardware platform and on any OS with little or no modification.

Our API will have the following requirements and outputs:

Our application program will be saved on to a computer in the venue which is hooked up to the blue2 device. This program will complete the following tasks: · Computer will send the application to the Bluetooth devices which are turned on. · Then the user has the option to either accept or decline the application. · Once declined it will not be sent to that device again only if they decide to go into active devices on their phone and connect with it manually or turn their Bluetooth off and on again. · If the application is accepted by the user then they will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions of the application which will explain how they are allowing them to be seen by their friends in the area. · If they don’t agree then they will not be allowed to use the application and will have to end it. · The next page which appears on the application will give you the option of finding your friends which are in the area and have also accepted the application. · The computer will receive the information of everyone in the venue who has accepted the app and store them in the computer. · The users will then be given the option of ‘Find Friends’, ‘Exit’ or ‘Show Offers’ (optional) and on the page there will also be some advertising either by the venue using this service or a company who would like to advertise a product, drink or whatever it maybe on the application. The ‘Show Offers’ option is there to be used if the venue wish to use this for advertising things like offers etc. · If the user chooses ‘Find Friends’ then the computer will begin to pair them with contacts from their previously paired devices in the Bluetooth menu on their phone. · The computer then takes in this information and finds the phones in the venue which have been previously paired. · It will then show you a list of the people who you know on the screen that are also in the venue under the heading ‘Friends’. · You then have the option of selecting one of your friends from the list and choosing ‘Send Message’ to them via Bluetooth or else you can ‘Return’ to the page ‘Friends’. · When in the ‘Friends’ list you will be given the option to ‘Refresh’ if you want to check if anyone new as entered the venue. · If you leave the application then you will be disconnected from the service and not be seen by the other devices. · If you want to reconnect you can just go back into Apps on your phone and select the application.

Project Plan

At the beginning of this project we all proposed different ideas which came from each person of the group. Each of the ideas were well thought out and some had enough potential to be studied further. Due to us researching further each of us came across different flaws which would disable our continuation of study in those areas. Ideas from each of us ranged from sport technology, Pc To tv Wireless, Mobile Key Finder, Mobile Device Protection Tool, Medication Reminder Device and Central Heating Solution. Firstly, we decide to go ahead with the Central Heating Device and did our first presentation on it. After this presentation and a few more group meetings later that week, as well as a meeting with our lecturer where we agreed it would be best to come up with a better concept. The concept we first chose was similar to a product already on the market. Eventually we settled for an idea which is called the ‘Blue Tooth Friend Finder’. This is a Blue Tooth service provided by a place of interest like a nightclub. This service would enhance social interaction in a social setting. We organized times to meet each week, as we had something to present each Monday we had a week to organize ourselves and prepare our findings and research. We met up 2-3 times a week, in these meetings we discussed ideas, gave updates individually on the areas we were focusing on, transferred our study into slides for each presentation and made note of important things like how exactly will we get this idea to work and what steps will we take to achieve this. We had a presentation in Week 5 which kick started the project after already starting a project which failed-this boosted morale of the group and our minds were focused. We all had a clear vision of what we wanted the result to be. After week 5 we divided out the work, studied and researched individually and repeated the same process of the first project accept with a bit more intensity. Our planning consisted of trying to come up with a prototype. We started this by researching technologies which already exist and try to link them together to create our concept.


The idea of the Blue Tooth friend Finder we discussed and decided to develop it because we believed it would develop the social interaction of a social setting. The device would provide a beneficial service to the public in a certain area which would draw more people to this area because of this idea. This is a service obviously performed by Blue Tooth but also operates with the use of a device(Blue Tooth Marketing Device) inside the place of interest(e. g nightclub). It differs from other Blue Tooth applications because this application is an application consisted of the user being detected and paired with a confirmed friend user who is inside that area(e. g nightclub). Our concept links the users together due to the fact that the contacts are already saved Blue Tooth contacts on each others phone. The device in the nightclub sorts this information and reacts to people who have been in contact on Blue Tooth before. We know there are many technologies out there such as applications for the I-Phone(I-Tracker-which is a tracking location device) but we think our concept is better because it enables people to track one another without the use of buying an smart phone. The vast majority of phones today have Blue Tooth so why not make use of an idea like this and put it into place. We believe because this service that will cost very little by the provider(nightclub) and will be free to the public that it would get a good reaction and kick off very well. Unlike the cost of a smart phone or connection costs to internet especially when there is no wi-fi available in certain areas. We also feel our idea differs from Blue Tooth itself in terms of when you turn on your Blue Tooth you can see everyone who is using Blue Tooth. With this idea you can see only your friends not strangers. This is better we feel because it eliminates the chance of false contact details of a person or the sending of files which you don’t want-which could be anything.

Scenario’s and the Users

A good example of a type of user who would use this service would be a student. When putting thought into this idea we imagined it in a student environment like Limerick. We thought if a technology like this was available it would fit in well in a popular nightclub in Limerick. Nightclubs in Limerick get huge attendance nearly every night of the week due to such a high population of students in Limerick City.

Here we thought up a few scenarios of some people trying out this concept:

Scenario 1: Paul sets off with his friends into town on a night out. As a student he has made a lot of new friends through college(Keep in mind he doesn’t have time to ring everybody or tell everybody that he is going out tonight) He arrives at the club and sees a sign at the entrance explaining the new service that the nightclub has to offer. He takes note as he enters the door of the nightclub and he receives a Blue Tooth application which firstly asks him to accept and explain what will happen if he does or does not. He accepts the application and after few moments the application displays which of his friends are in the club. It picks the friends he’s with as they are using the service too, but also it picks of friends he didn’t know were out and displays who they are. He is delighted because one is a girl he really likes. He carries on with his friends he came with and eventually he finds the contacts from seeing on his phone. At the same time he’s looking for those friends they are looking for him too because they are also using the application- so therefore finding one another is a lot quicker in a very crowded nightclub.

Scenario 2: Lisa was working late so she got delayed and was not able to meet her friends before going out. She knows what nightclub they are going so she orders a taxi and makes her way to the club. She queues outside and notices the sign for the Blue Tooth application. She excepts the application and is notified who of her saved contacts are in the area. She sees that one of the friends she came into meet is detected. She told Lisa that she would keep her Friend Finder on so that she would no when she got inside the nightclub. So the Blue Tooth Friend finder lets one know that the other is in the club and this quickens the speed on which it would usually take them to find each other.

Current Approaches:

Currently there is nothing there that provides this exact service in a venue, place or area. However there are technologies that use some of the same ideas to do other things with it, such as the Bluetooth Marketing System which sends out adverts to people with Bluetooth devices in a certain range. The actual Bluetooth enabled phones which allow you to search for other Bluetooth devices in a limited range. It is also possible to send messages via Bluetooth. There are Bluetooth applications which allow users to interact with its services on their device, and programming which allows us to create and implement the actual program itself. This is what will pull it all together and make it unique from any other application or service.

Areas for Development:

There is still space for improvement and development on this technology. We would hope in the future that Bluetooth technology will be able to implement a GPS tracker technology into its services and then we would be able to introduce that into our service as well, which would make the application even more desirable.

Commercial Potential

This product definitely has commercial potential as it provides a unique service to both the business and its users. There is nothing out there that uses these technologies in this manner to achieve what we are doing. This service will provide a company or venue with a real business opportunity, for the reason that this service will attract its potential users to there venue and gain an edge over their rivals because of this option. It also enables companies and business to advertise their products or brands on the application, this will really help promoting themselves to all of the users. For the actual business that uses this they will also be able to promote specials offers or discounts that they may have and attract a bigger crowd than they usually would by doing this. A big coop for this is that once they have bought the equipment and its set up it is a really cheap fast way of advertising, plus the equipment does not cost that much to buy. From the users point of view this technology allows them to find out if their friends are in the same place as them quickly and hassle free with the computer doing all the work the user just has to push a button and it will quickly find if there friends are there too. This product can help people to find their friends that they might not have found or known were even in the same place. This is a very attractive service and doesn’t cost the user anything to use it. It also gives the user the option to check out if there are any good offers or promotions on in the venue. Another good use of this technology is if someone lost there child or phone they could use the application to find out if it is still in the venue, but this is only possible if the application is open on the other phone.

This service was mainly aimed at a nightclub scenario but this service could also be expanded into other areas like stadiums, shopping centres, colleges and much more. The commercial potential is huge and with further development and research in this area it could even get bigger and better.


Research is the way in which we seek out information which will enhance our knowledge in a certain area. Research is necessary for learning facts in everyday life and is vital to the development of a new product. There are many reasons why research is done and why it is so necessary, especially in the development field. In relation to our project specifically there were many times where research was essential and it became the fundamental aspect for us as we used it for almost every part of our development process. For example, when we started out doing this project we came up with an idea quite quickly and started to work on that. We did some research to find if there were other products out there and when we didn’t come up with anything we started to gradually develop the idea. However, by the end of the week we found a very similar product and decided our idea had to be scrapped and that we should start from scratch with a new one. We learned from that experience how important a part research was going to play in our project. With that we came up with the new idea of the ‘Bluetooth Friend Finder’ and we did extensive research until we were convinced that no other product existed that was the same. In the next stage of the development we had to decide if our product was not over ambitious and could actually be made into a functional system. To do this we came up with some logical ideas of our own for how it could work and we also used research to look at similar existing products to get some ideas for how the system could be developed. Another area for which research was a key element was when learning about the different aspects of our product. We had to do a large amount of research into finding out about Bluetooth (on mobiles and otherwise), both Java and C++ programming for Bluetooth to find which would be the most efficient option for what we were trying to achieve etc. While researching Bluetooth we discovered that by 2010 over 95% of mobile phones will be Bluetooth enabled and that 50% - 60% of people have their Bluetooth activated constantly, this was very important information for our project as it showed us that a Bluetooth product would be used and could be available to a very large majority of the public. We also found different information, such as, the range of visibility for Bluetooth devices, which was highly important to us so we could know what size venues would have to be for our concept to work, and could have been a factor which might have made our idea impossible to go ahead with. In order to decide whether we should use Java or C++ for the coding of our system we researched both programming languages in relation to Bluetooth and found that Java would be more suitable option. After discovering this we each looked into different areas of Java to try and come up with some code which was relevant to the idea that we wanted to achieve so that we could put it together to try to develop it into a working system. Through this we learned a lot of new information about Java and also brought back some of what we had learned in first year programming which had been forgotten.

One of the main components in the early stages of developing a new idea is to decide if there will be a market for your product; will venues want to buy it?, will people use it? Since we already found that most people have their Bluetooth activated we looked into other Bluetooth devices and if they were successful. Through our previous research of finding if our idea already existed we knew that there was a vast amount of Bluetooth devices, which lead us to the realization that Bluetooth products have a definite popularity. In order to investigate if our particular Bluetooth idea would be a successful product we asked some friends if it was something which would interest them and if they would find it helpful when in a nightclub, as that was our main idea for a venue of use. It was through this research that we fully decided at the start that this would be a good idea to develop.

We tried to do as much research as we could throughout the development of our idea as we found from the beginning that the more research that you do, the less problems you will run into as time goes on. For example, when we were first discussing our idea we decided we would try to implement a type of tracking system along with the application so that it would tell you the exact location of your friends as well as if they were in the venue. However after researching how Iphone and Ipod touch tracking works we found out that GPS or Wi-Fi triangulation would be needed and so we were able to abandon that idea without wasting time on trying to get it working. More research could also lead to less work in the long run as extensive research leads you to a broader range of possibilities and you could find an easier way to go about developing your product that you may not have thought of otherwise. In order to get the broadest range of possibilities we tried to use different resources to get information. We mostly used the internet to gather information, using Google to find out if there was an existing product and also to learn more about the different elements of our idea (Bluetooth, Java etc.). We also looked at some papers online to get a deeper look into these different elements, e.g. J2ME Bluetooth Programming, André N. Klingsheim and Bluetooth for Java, B. Hopkins, R. Antony. We also stepped away from the computer when researching if the product would be successful by asking friends what they thought of the idea and if they would be drawn to a nightclub by knowing that the application would be available there.

How the work was divided:

Throughout the course of the project the work was divided evenly between all three of us. For every presentation we would each focus on a different area that we would be looking to develop on and then bring it together to see what everyone had done and how we could put it all together. For this essay stage of the assignment we each had a look at the proof of concept and made sure that we all understood what was expected from it. After we went through it and discussed our idea under the set headings we were all clear on the different parts of it. We then split the workload evenly and each picked different topics to write about and have ready for the next meeting, so we could all read it and make sure we were clear about our proof of concept.

References: J2ME Bluetooth Programming, André N. Klingsheim and Bluetooth for Java, B. Hopkins, R. Antony

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