Bluetooth helps Facebook friends

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Yellow Belt
A team of UK researchers is combining the power of social network Facebook with communications tool Bluetooth to learn more about human interactions.
Bath University scientists have created a tool which can use the unique ID of Bluetooth devices, like a mobile phone, to build new friendship networks.

Users register with the Facebook tool, called Cityware, that tracks encounters in the real world via Bluetooth.

It is part of a wider project backed by Nokia, HP Labs and Vodafone.

Dr Vassilis Kostakos, research associate at the University of Bath, said: "Networks are everywhere - social and digital.

"The really nice thing about Bluetooth is that when you are walking down the street, although you are not talking to anyone, your Bluetooth device can be talking to other devices.

"People with Bluetooth devices are actually creating an ad hoc communications infrastructure where information can flow through the city over time."

He said the project's motivation was in helping people find out more information about "familiar strangers".

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