Bluetooth Proximity Detection on OS X
by Bruce Stewart
Jesse David Hollington's post describes how he uses Proximity to secure his Powerbook when he's away from the machine, as well as how to keep his OS X Address Book connected and to iSync his phone whenever it comes back within proximity of his Mac.
Activating the screen saver and performing an iSync are both tasks that are trivial to perform via Applescript. Reconnecting the Address Book and enabling and disabling the screen saver password protection is considerably more complicated, however, as I quickly discovered.
I should point out that most of what I am documenting here has been gleaned from various corners of the web, and therefore most of the ideas are not specifically my own. However, I decided to try and document some of this in one place in order to hopefully save others the several hours of searching that it took me to put it all together.
If you would like to implement the screen-saver security feature based on Bluetooth proximity, go check out Jesse's post, he presents all of the code and details needed to pull that off.
This reminds me of some telecom hacks I've seen recently using Asterisk and Bluetooth proximity detection. With the latest version of Asterisk, you can configure it so that your office phone detects the presence of your cell phone's Bluetooth signal, so you can achieve things like having your office number automatically forward its calls to your cell phone when you leave the office, or turn off the forwarding when it detects you are back.
Neat stuff. What kind of Bluetooth proximity hacks would you like to see?
There is also an upcoming article in MacTech magazine on proximity detection with bluetooth and other technologies.
|Is this different than what Salling Clicker provides?|
|Jesse explains in his post why he went with Proximity instead of Sailing Clicker, which you are correct also does bluetooth proximity.|
Unfortunately I've always found Bluetooth proximity detection to be crippled by, of all things, Bluetooth's overly generous range.
|Jesse David Hollington
I've found that different Bluetooth devices have different proximity ranges, and this solution doesn't have to be used only with a phone. A Bluetooth headset or other BT device that you carry around with you regularly could also work. Headsets, in particular, can often be better short-range triggers, depending on model.
|How about a hack that detects when my Boss's cell phone is in the proximity so I don't get caught reading blogs! :)|