Paul Makepeace ;-)

August 26, 2004

Lost headset

Posted in: Drivel, Tech

If your Bluetooth phone headset went missing in a pub, what could you do to get it back?

The setting: around 21:00 with a couple of girlfriends trying to get into Cheers! on Piccadilly severely under-dressed (I'd come straight from an ultra-casual on-site coding job). Just for the record, both of them were looking quite spiffy. At first I thought the bouncer was objecting to my HBH-200 headset which was wrapped around my shoulders; it was looking kinda tatty. So I started taking it off, when it turned out the rip in my t-shirt was the problem.

At this point one of the girls offered me her jacket which I comically wore (she's about a size -6), she dragged me in past the dude in the blur, and we ordered drinks. Then I noticed my headset was gone. Heading back to the door both guys were bizarrely polite and empathetic "honestly we didn't see anything". Ehhh.

Anyway, I thought how could I use the technology to get it back. I'm sad to say I didn't pull it off but here's what I tried:

First off I did a device discovery. My Orange M1000 often presents Bluetooth "MAC" (proper term?) addresses rather than their human-readable ID. Now, I didn't remember what my headset's is so couldn't be sure the phone'd found it.

Next idea was to call my phone with the bluetooth headset enabled and hope that it picked it up. Even if I didn't hear the device the phone would report a transfer to headset. No signal in the back of the bar, so I borrowed Aini's phone and reasonably surreptitiously went out front near the boys on the door. No lock, nor device discovery. (I think, stupidly, I'd switched the headset off in the movie just beforehand. There is no need to do this: just silence the phone as no other phone will make it ring.)

So some lessons, besides obviously paying attention stashing gadgets. Make a note of the device's MAC address. Never switch if off. Develop a utility that will run on the phone to "call" the headset without needing an incoming call. Thinking about this, this is a really obvious one and I'm (now, having thought of it ;-) a little surprised phone's don't offer this feature themselves. Develop an app that continously discovers devices and reports on the signal strength (if this is possible). I'm sure something like that is out there, e.g. Bluestumbler.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at August 26, 2004 23:30 | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?