Elon Computing Sciences


Christine M. Dierk (Dr. Björn Hartmann) Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley

Smart kiosks, physical kiosks that users can interact with through their mobile devices, are becoming increasingly prevalent as mobile technology advances. These kiosks often require the user to be physically near the machine. While geolocation and GPS are the most common measures for determining proximity, they are not always reliable and can present several problems. In this presentation, we will discuss an alternate solution for determining a user’s proximity to one of these machines: high frequency emission and detection.

Kiosks emit a specific frequency, 22000 Hz in this case, and mobile applications use this frequency to determine proximity to the machine. We evaluated this method and applied it to Umati: the communitysourcing vending machine, introduced by Kurtis Heimerl and other researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. We found it to have a range of about 15 feet. These results indicate that frequency emission and detection can successfully determine the proximity of a mobile device to a smart kiosk.