Detect MAC addresses of nearby Bluetooth devices


Is there any example code showing how to detect all nearby Bluetooth devices to a Photon?

For example I want to be able to read the address of all mobile phones in the vicinity …

Do the Bluetooth devices have to have turned their discovery ON?


Are you using a bluetooth radio with your Photon?

Thank you Moors7.

I do not have anything built yet so I am open to any hardware needed …

Depending on what it is you want to do, you might want to look into

I am just trying to detect Bluetooth devices at one location and then at another location … I do not want to connect to them, just discover them …

I am familiar with Bluz but need more computing power …

Thank you @BulldogLowell.

Will this module be able to sniff device addresses in its vicinity?

I’d search the Adafruit webpage for bluetooth sniffing

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No results with that query …

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Thanks a million. :grinning: Will check it out.

Hey! Did you manage to look into this any further? I’m interested in doing the same thing, detecting nearby bluetooth devices, not directly communicating with them. Thanks so much!

Hello @jorgos

It is apparently very complicated to do if the devices are not advertising. So basically got no where …

Aha, what does ‘advertising’ mean for phones? That you need to have the Bluetooth settings open or just turned on? I’ve experimented with a regular RaspberryPi and its integrated bluetooth was able to detect my phone and bluetooth signal strength when the phone was locked. I was hoping to do the same with an Electron or other 3G board.

Advertising not only means Bluetooth on, but for modern phones means also scanning.

When this is not the case, for privacy, phones mask their true mac and may change it.

This is why quite often sniffing is only possible for very high end devices, and even then with high misses > 40%.

Thanks, very interesting!! I guess I assumed it would be possible based on that test with a raspberry pi and my iPhone (6), but maybe not. What do you mean by “high end devices”? Phones or sniffers?