3rd International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks

Research Article

On the performance of Bluetooth and IEEE 802.15.4 radios in a body area network

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/ICST.BODYNETS2008.2972,
        author={Rahul C. Shah and Lama Nachman and Chieh-yih Wan},
        title={On the performance of Bluetooth and IEEE 802.15.4 radios in a body area network},
        proceedings={3rd International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks},
        publisher={ICST},
        proceedings_a={BODYNETS},
        year={2010},
        month={5},
        keywords={Body area networks sensor networks performance evaluation.},
        doi={10.4108/ICST.BODYNETS2008.2972}
    }
    
  • Rahul C. Shah
    Lama Nachman
    Chieh-yih Wan
    Year: 2010
    On the performance of Bluetooth and IEEE 802.15.4 radios in a body area network
    BODYNETS
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.BODYNETS2008.2972
Rahul C. Shah1,*, Lama Nachman1,*, Chieh-yih Wan1,*
  • 1: Intel Corporation
*Contact email: rahul.c.shah@intel.com, lama.nachman@intel.com, chieh-yih.wan@intel.com

Abstract

The last few years have seen the emergence of many applications such as wellness, chronic disease management and assisted living that require pervasive sensing of people and the environment. Many of these applications require on-body sensing of various parameters including heart-rate, caloric burn, activity, temperature, etc. Low power wireless technologies are a key enabler for these applications, as it allows distributed sensing and aggregation without the cost of wiring the individual. Bluetooth is a well established low power wireless technology and has the advantage of being integrated into many handheld devices today whereas IEEE 802.15.4 has gained momentum in wireless sensor networks over the last few years due to its low power and cost. The performance of these radios in the context of WSN applications has been explored and published in numerous papers. However there hasn’t been a lot of work exploring the effect of the human body on the performance of these radios. We have designed and conducted experiments on multiple people to measure the effect of the human body on the performance of Bluetooth and IEEE 802.15.4. We have explored different activities (sitting, standing and walking) as well as many sensor locations (ear, chest, waist, knee and ankle). Finally we explored the co-existence of both of these radios. In this paper, we present the results of these experiments and provide a detailed analysis of the suitability of these radios for body area networks.