Detection and Visualization of Human-Human and Human-Artifact interactions using proximity sensors

Himanshu Verma
Hamed Alavi
Denis Lalanne
Nico Färber
Project status: 

Interactions amongst humans (such as conversations) and interactions with various artifacts within the living or working environment are frequent and informative. These interactions when situated within the context of buildings, can assist researchers to comprehend the ongoing activity, and thus model human living behavior and design technologies that can enhance the living experience of individuals. 

For example, when two individuals are discussing, are they discussing around a table, or a coffee machine? This scenario sheds crucial information on the nature of discussion, the former being a planned formal meeting, whereas the latter being an opportunistic informal discussion. Accurate detection and identification of such interactions can be used to infer the role of a space (or a room), and thus facilitate the design and development of context-aware awareness and technologies.

Another example of human-artifact interaction can be the identification of instances when an individual is sitting on a chair, and for how long. Instances when a window/door is open and closed, what part of a room is more often used (close to the window for reading, etc.), and so on. Such interactions can be used to model and design user-aware buildings.

In the current project, we aim to identify, and label such interactions in the context of Smart Living Lab in an unobtrusive manner. We envision that Smart Bluetooth based proximity sensors (such as Beacons) coupled with mobile phones and smart watches, can facilitate the identification of varied kinds of interactions. In addition, to the proximity sensors, incorporating multi-modal data from other sensors such as microphone, accelerometers, etc. will not just make this identification process accurate, but also enable us to identify interactions of diverse nature.

The skills required for this project include a basic understanding of 3D geometry, computer programming, and a good command over mobile application development (iOS or Android, preferably iOS).