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Footstep Sensors Identify People by Gait


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A woman walking.

A team of researchers has developed remote sensors that analyze footsteps by measuring minute floor vibrations.

Credit: Thinkstok

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have developed sensors that analyze footsteps by measuring minute floor vibrations.

The vibrations can be used to identify specific individuals, and to test a new method of hands-off health monitoring.

The sensors are cylindrical devices a few centimeters tall that sit on the floor and can sense a walker up to 20 meters away.

The sensors are distributed as an array throughout the area where they are to detect footsteps.

The sensitive detectors pick up a lot more noise in a busy building, so the researchers had to teach the system to distinguish footsteps from background noise.

Said researcher Hae Young Noh, "We do various signal-processing and machine-learning [techniques] to learn what is the human-related signal versus other noise that we’re not interested in."

From Scientific American
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