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Activity recognition based on electric potential sensing

: Wilmsdorff, Julian von
: Kuijper, Arjan; Große-Puppendahl, Tobias

Darmstadt, 2015, 74 pp.
Darmstadt, TU, Master Thesis, 2015
Master Thesis
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Business Field: Digital society; Research Area: Human computer interaction (HCI); Research Area: Modeling (MOD); activity recognition; Multi sensor analysis; sensor fusion; 3D sensor technology; Dynamic gesture recognition

Electric fields are influenced by the human body and other conducting materials. This property can be used to detect presence of human bodies. For the detection of presence and activity recognition, mostly capacitive measurement techniques are used. Despite the fact that capacitive sensing is an fairly old technology, since it has been around since the 1920's, it is still a hot topic of ongoing research works. Today, capacitive measurement techniques are used in touch-screens, in the automobile industry and many other fields of Ubiquitous Computing. But a drawback of the capacitive technology is the energy consumption, which is an important aspect of mobile devices. That is why, in this thesis, i investigate the potential of electric potential sensing (EPS), a purely passive capacitive measurement technique, which can be implemented with an extremely low power consumption. First, the most commonly used capacitive measurement techniques will be analyzed and how they work. This is done to understand the pros and cons of electric potential sensing compared to other technologies. After analyzing electric potential sensing and related capacitive measurement techniques, we will have a closer look at some possible areas of application of electric potential sensing in an explorative studie. Hence, multiple experiments, involving electric potential sensing in various environmental settings for different use-case scenarios, will be conducted. This is done to evaluate the best use-case for this technology. Then, after selecting the most suitable use-case for activity recognition with EPS, two sensor systems are developed, discussed and evaluated. At the end, the benefits and limitations of EPS will be concluded with regards to capacitive sensing.