PARTICLE provides mobile phone detection capabilities using radio-frequency scanning on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interfaces. The system detects most consumer smartphones, tablets, laptops and handsfree devices available on the market.
The information read from each device contains: MAC address, signal strength (RSSI) and the Class of Device (CoD) allowing to differentiate the type of device (e.g., smartphone, handsfree, computer, LAN/network AP).
The coverage area can be modified by changing the power transmission of the radio interfaces, which can reach dozens of meters in reach (even in the presence of walls).
PARTICLE uses in-house developed algorithms to infer the devices locations based on RSSI and access points information.
The system includes a Wi-Fi access-point allowing access to specific services and portals. For the purpose of emergency situations, PARTICLE is using this technology for:
- Detecting the presence of citizens in affected areas.
- Provide access to portals with emergency related information and communication services (e.g., video-calls, text messages, post pages, etc.).
- Provide access to crowdsourcing tools.
PARTICLE system uses privacy-by-design principles: it does not store or display a device’s MAC information (i.e., unique identifier of the device). Instead, it generates internal own identifiers to the system operators. The device owner can provide personal information when such is consented (i.e., when using PARTICLE access-point and services).