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Eliminating the ground reference for wireless electric field sensing

: Wilmsdorff, Julian von; Kirchbuchner, Florian; Braun, Andreas; Kuijper, Arjan


Kameas, Achilles (Ed.):
Ambient Intelligence. 14th European Conference, AmI 2018 : Larnaca, Cyprus, November 12-14, 2018, Proceedings
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2018 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 11249)
ISBN: 978-3-030-03061-2 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-030-03062-9 (Online)
ISBN: 978-3-030-03063-6
European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI) <14, 2018, Larnaca>
Fraunhofer IGD ()
capacitive sensor; electric field sensing; mobile sensors; electrical engineering; sensor technology; Guiding Theme: Individual Health; Guiding Theme: Smart City; Research Area: Human computer interaction (HCI)

Capacitive systems are getting more and more attention these days. But many systems today like smart-phone screens, laptops, and non-mechanical buttons use capacitive techniques to measure events within several centimeters of distance. The reason that battery-powered devices don’t have high measurement ranges lies in the principle of capacitive measurement itself - the electrical ground is an inherent part of the measurement. In this paper, we present a method for passive and wireless capacitive systems to eliminate the reference to ground. This bears a couple of advantages for mobile, battery-powered capacitive sensor designs in the field of ambient intelligence. We compare the detection range of normal passive capacitive systems with our new approach. The results show that our improvements result in a higher detection range and higher power efficiency.