The Smart Computer Interfaces for Future Interactions (SciFi) lab at Cornell University has announced its most recent breakthrough in sonar-equipped wearables, called PoseSonic.
PoseSonic is a wearable technology that takes the form of ordinary spectacles but integrates micro sonar technology that is able to detect the wearer’s upper body movements in three dimensions. This is accomplished by utilizing inaudible soundwaves and artificial intelligence (AI).
As PoseSonic continues to evolve as a technology, researchers believe it may serve as a possible driving force behind developments in augmented reality, virtual reality, and the comprehensive surveillance of a person’s physical and behavioral data for the sake of improving their health.
A doctorate student in information science named Saif Mahmud is quite enthusiastic about the possible uses of PoseSonic in detecting fine-grained human activity in natural situations. He placed a strong emphasis on the part that body-sensing technology, such as PoseSonic, plays in encouraging mindfulness regarding one’s habits.
The study, which was given the title “PoseSonic: 3D Upper Body Pose Estimation Through Egocentric Acoustic Sensing on Smartglasses,” was presented on October 10 in Cancun, Mexico, at a conference that was a combined effort of the Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) organization and the International Symposium on Wearable Computing (ISWC).
Cheng Zhang, an assistant professor of information science at Cornell and the director of the SciFi Lab, underlined the pioneering nature of their research group’s method, which utilizes inaudible acoustics and artificial intelligence for the purpose of detecting body position through a wearable device.
“By integrating cutting-edge AI into low-power, low-cost, and privacy-conscious acoustic sensing systems, we use less instrumentation on the body, which is more practical, and battery performance is significantly better for everyday use,” Zhang stated in a prepared statement.
The PoseSonic design incorporates two sets of minuscule microphones and speakers that are mounted to the hinges of the eyeglasses. Each of these components is about the diameter of a pencil. Echo profiles are created when inaudible soundwaves released by the speakers reflect off of the upper body and return to the microphones.
How PoseSonic Processes the Image
According to the study team, this image is analyzed by PoseSonic’s machine-learning algorithm, which achieves almost flawless accuracy in determining the wearer’s body pose based on the information it receives from the wearable device. Notably, a preliminary training session with the use of PoseSonic is not required for the device to function correctly and successfully.
The capability of the system to estimate movement at nine different bodily joints, including the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and nose, is a feature that is especially helpful for detecting the position of the head.
PoseSonic is an important step forward in the evolution of wearable technology. Current wearable gadgets usually rely on little video cameras, which raises concerns about both the devices’ practicability and their users’ privacy.
According to the researchers, the technology runs with minimum power consumption, which is around one-tenth that of a wearable camera. This contributes to PoseSonic’s greater compactness, unobtrusiveness, and suitability for use in everyday situations. In addition, experts highlight the fact that there are fewer privacy risks associated with sonar technology in comparison to wearable video cameras.
PoseSonic’s innovative combination of sonar technology and AI may present a promising future for the growth of wearables, providing a solution that is both more practical and less intrusive to users’ privacy while accurately identifying their body poses.