New research from Purdue University may have achieved a way for companies to send messages to smartphone users without prompting and without being on the same local network. The key? Motion-tracking cameras.

PHADE, or private human addressing, is envisioned for use in retail and educational settings like Amazon Go register-less stores or museums and would involve the user having an application from the venue.

Surveillance cameras covering a certain area would be able to track subjects through space and time to develop a packet of information conveniently known as a “tracklet.” The tracklets are compiled to form what’s basically an address code that gets broadcast out to receiving devices. The smartphone that the targeted user would be able to use its gyroscope, barometer and other instruments to match two address codes before it generates a pre-determined message perhaps for a sale on a specific item in a department or an exhibit in that sector of the room. Testing was done on a Galaxy S4, by the way.

Servers would not pick up any device data and would anonymize vector data from the motion-tracking cameras while retaining special character markers to form the address for broadcast — this means that hackers would need direct access to either source device to extract any important data.

That said, this sort of development can be built upon by more authoritarian actors and relies on the proliferation of motion-tracking surveillance cameras. And while users can opt out of messages in this demonstration, it also requires buy-in to the source company’s application or web applet.

You May Also Like

Pocketnow Daily: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra to be the SELFIE KING?!(video)

On today’s Pocketnow Daily, we talk about the possible 40MP selfie camera in the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, Huawei P40 Pro leaks and more

Possible codenames and processors of Google Pixel 4a devices have emerged

We have the possible codenames and processors that may arrive in the upcoming Google Pixel 4a series, and maybe more Pixel devices

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra to arrive with a 40MP selfie camera?

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra may get the largest sensor ever found in a selfie camera, and 10x zoom capabilities in the S20 and S20+ is questionable