Real-Time Location Tracking System for Proximity Marketing and Foot-Traffic Analysis

About the Client

Retail Optimize is an innovative Swedish company that creates solutions to give businesses the ability to measure visitors' in-store movement, get better knowledge of their customers, increase sales, strengthen their brand, and, above all, create a more personalized experience for their customers.
Retail Optimize

Company’s Request

The customer required a network of access points to provide free internet access alongside a movement tracking system across the city to use for marketing purposes. Access points are required to be cheap, and easy to install and maintain.

Technology Set

An open-source, Linux-based operating system optimized for embedded devices such as routers. It allows extensive customization and configuration, making it ideal for network management and development projects.
Wi-Fi Probe Requests Sniffing
Involves capturing probe requests, which are signals sent by devices as they search for available Wi-Fi networks. By analyzing these requests, it's possible to track the movement and density of devices in a particular area.
Bluetooth BLE Beacons
Devices that transmit continuous signals that can be detected by nearby smart devices. They are used for proximity marketing and real-time location tracking within retail environments.
C and C++
Programming languages known for their high performance and control over system resources. They are commonly used for developing firmware, applications requiring direct hardware interaction, and performance-critical systems.
A versatile programming language favored for its readability and simplicity. It's widely used in data analysis, web development, automation, and back-end development.
A runtime environment that allows developers to write server-side applications in JavaScript. It's particularly effective for building scalable network applications due to its non-blocking, event-driven architecture.
A popular open-source relational database management system. It's used to store and manage data requiring structured storage, supporting numerous concurrent operations efficiently.
An in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. It supports various data structures and is renowned for its high performance and low latency.
A network protocol analyzer that lets users capture and interactively browse the traffic running on a computer network. It's essential for network troubleshooting and analysis.
802.11 Wi-Fi Standards (b/g/n)
Wi-Fi standards dictate the speed and capacity of wireless networks. 802.11b, g, and n standards differ in signal range and bandwidth, accommodating various user needs and environments.
Bluetooth 4.0 and BLE Protocols
Includes the traditional Bluetooth capabilities and introduces Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). BLE is designed for very low power consumption and short-range communications, perfect for applications like wearable devices where battery life is critical.


At Sirin Software, we engineered a middleware layer on top of the OpenWRT platform, an open-source, Linux-based system. Our solution was focused on capturing Wi-Fi probe requests near the access points. These probe requests – signals sent by devices seeking Wi-Fi connections, were key in tracking customer movements.

Our team developed a specialized blacklisting algorithm to filter out static devices like routers and laptops, ensuring that only relevant mobile device data was captured. This step was key in maintaining the accuracy of the foot traffic analysis.

On the server side, we established a centralized hub for data aggregation. This hub was responsible for processing and recording the movement data, forming a part of our marketing analysis toolkit.


Devices in use



The Open-Mesh OM2P Router was our budget-friendly choice, equipped with an optional outdoor enclosure and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability. It was adept at sniffing on the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band, which was widely used for its balance of range and bandwidth.

We also employed the Open-Mesh OM5P Router. This high-end device, also featuring an optional outdoor enclosure and PoE power, was selected for its reliability and performance in varied locations.

Additionally, our engineers utilized the CHIP Microcomputer, an experimental for that time, a cost-effective device designed for sniffing both Wi-Fi and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) probe requests. This was especially valuable in areas where traditional Wi-Fi tracking might be limited.

In crafting this solution, our team leveraged our technical know-how to integrate these technologies into a cohesive system. The combination of our custom-developed middleware, careful selection of hardware, and robust server architecture allowed us to effectively capture and analyze movement data for comprehensive retail analytics.

Value Delivered

Enhanced Movement Analytics
Movement reproducing algorithm on the server.
Centralized Management
Cloud management dashboard.
Automated Device Filtering
Automatic blacklisting of static devices (laptops and access points).
Secure Customer Data Handling
Filtration of randomly-generated MAC addresses (like in the latest iOS devices, they send random MAC during network search to avoid tracking)
Improved Network Reliability
Filters out issues that occur when a device moves between two close access points. It uses a hysteresis algorithm, which helps in deciding whether to connect using a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi address based on which signal is stronger when Wi-Fi is unavailable.