Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Room's Ambience Fingerprinted By Phone

Date:
September 28, 2009
Source:
Duke University
Summary:
Your smart phone may soon be able to know not only that you're at the mall, but whether you're in the jewelry store or the shoe store.

Your smart phone may soon be able to know not only that you're at the mall, but whether you're in the jewelry store or the shoe store.

Duke University computer engineers have made use of standard cell phone features – accelerometers, cameras and microphones – to turn the unique properties of a particular space into a distinct fingerprint. While standard global positioning systems (GPS) are only accurate to 10 meters (32 feet) and do not work indoors, the new application is designed to work indoors and can be as precise as telling if a user is on one side of an interior wall or another.

The system, dubbed SurroundSense, uses the phone's built-in camera and microphone to record sound, light and colors, while the accelerometer records movement patterns of the phone's user. This information is sent to a server, which knits the disparate information together into a single fingerprint.

"You can't tell much from any of the measurements individually, but when combined, the optical, acoustic and motion information creates a unique fingerprint of the space," said Ionut Constandache, graduate student in computer science. He presented the details of SurroundSense at the 15th International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking in Bejing on Sept. 25.

For example, in a bar, people spend little time moving and most time sitting, while the room is typically dark and noisy. In contrast, a Target store will be brightly lit with vibrant colors – especially red – with movement up and down aisles. SurroundSense can tell these differences.

Students of Romit Roy Chouhury, Duke assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and senior member of the research team, fanned out across Durham, N.C. with their cell phones, collecting data in different types of businesses. So that they would not bias the measurements, the students "mirrored" the actions of selected customers.

"We went to 51 different stores and found that SurroundSense achieved an average accuracy of about 87 percent when all of the sensing capabilities were used," Constandache said.

As more people use the application, it gets "smarter."

"As the system collects and analyzes more and more information about a particular site, the fingerprint becomes that much more precise," said Roy Choudhury. "Not only is the ambience different at different locations, but also can be different at different times at the same location."

SurroundSense collects data at different time points, so it would be able to distinguish a Starbucks store at the morning rush when there are many customers from the slower period in mid-afternoon.

"We believe that SurroundSense is an early step toward a long-standing challenge of improving indoor localization," Roy Choudhury said.

Currently, in order for the phone to collect data, it must be held with the camera facing down, though the researchers are working on strategies for the application to work if the phone is in a pocket, case or handbag. However, as the researchers pointed out, phones are now coming onto the market that are worn on the wrist or around the neck on a necklace.

As in many technical advances, it appears that batteries can be an Achilles' heel. The Duke researchers are now considering the tradeoffs between having the application "on" all the time, which drains the battery faster, or having it take measurements at regular intervals. They are also trying to determine whether the entire application should be housed on the server, the phone, or some combination of the two.

Roy Choudhury's research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Nokia, Verizon and Microsoft Research. Duke undergraduate Martin Azizyan also participated in the project.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University. "Room's Ambience Fingerprinted By Phone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924093345.htm>.
Duke University. (2009, September 28). Room's Ambience Fingerprinted By Phone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924093345.htm
Duke University. "Room's Ambience Fingerprinted By Phone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924093345.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

AFP (Apr. 19, 2014) The Nintendo Game Boy celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday and game expert Stephen Upstone says the console can be credited with creating a trend towards handheld gaming devices. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) The Internet is taking important steps in patching the vulnerabilities Heartbleed highlighted, but those preventive measures carry their own costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the company will use GPS data from the new Nearby Friends feature for advertising sometime in the future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins