Sunday 17 April 2011

Floor for activity recognition

Patrick Baudisch showed in Paris at the Microsoft Software summit interesting photos of their DIY activity in creating a glass floor for tracking and activity recognition. With a fairly large glass pane in the floor they have created an interesting environment… I am sure there will be interesting things coming out of this installation.

Some years back in 2002 (and looking at the photos and the amount of hair I still had this seems long ago) in Lancaster we also looked in what to do with floors (and we were into DIY as well). We also considered arrangements with a floor tables and furniture on top. As you can see from Kristof, Hans and me on the photo it was a fun project.

The positive point in using load sensing is that you can track unobtrusive and potentially large scales with little instrumentation. We even considered the possibility to put a house on 4 load cells and do activity recognition based on this. We never got around to building the house ;-) The problem with load sensing is that you can only track one moving object/subject at the time.

Looking at the signature of the load measured and doing some signal processing we could detect events – unobtrusive and cheap – but only for single events.

Interested in more details? Have a look at the publications on load sensing [1], on the interaction [2], and at a patent [3] describing the basic technology.

[1] Schmidt, A., Strohbach, M., Laerhoven, K. v., Friday, A., and Gellersen, H. 2002. Context Acquisition Based on Load Sensing. In Proceedings of the 4th international Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Göteborg, Sweden, September 29 - October 01, 2002). Springer-LNCS, London, 333-350.

[2] Schmidt, A.; Strohbach, M.; van Laerhoven, K. & Hans-W., G. 2003. Ubiquitous Interaction -  Using Surfaces in Everyday Environments as Pointing Devices, Universal Access Theoretical Perspectives, Practice, and Experience (UI4ALL 2003), Springer LNCS, 263-279.

[3] Schmidt, A., Strohbach, M., Van Laerhoven, K., Friday, A., Gellersen, H-W., Kubach, U.; Context acquisition based on load sensing. US Patent 7434459. US Patent Issued on October 14, SAP AG (DE), 2008