11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services

Research Article

It's the Human that Matters: Accurate User Orientation Estimation for Mobile Computing Applications

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257920,
        author={Nesma Mohssen and Rana Momtaz and Heba Aly and Moustafa Youssef},
        title={It's the Human that Matters: Accurate User Orientation Estimation for Mobile Computing Applications},
        proceedings={11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services},
        publisher={ICST},
        proceedings_a={MOBIQUITOUS},
        year={2014},
        month={11},
        keywords={accurate angle estimation human orientation estimation sensors fusion},
        doi={10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257920}
    }
    
  • Nesma Mohssen
    Rana Momtaz
    Heba Aly
    Moustafa Youssef
    Year: 2014
    It's the Human that Matters: Accurate User Orientation Estimation for Mobile Computing Applications
    MOBIQUITOUS
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257920
Nesma Mohssen1, Rana Momtaz1, Heba Aly1, Moustafa Youssef2,*
  • 1: Alexandria University
  • 2: E-JUST
*Contact email: moustafa.youssef@ejust.edu.eg

Abstract

Ubiquity of Internet-connected and sensor-equipped portable devices sparked a new set of mobile computing applications that leverage the proliferating sensing capabilities of smart phones. For many of these applications, accurate estimation of the user heading, as compared to the phone heading, is of paramount importance. This is of special importance for many crowd-sensing applications, where the phone can be carried in arbitrary positions and orientations relative to the user body. Current state-of-the-art focus mainly on estimating the phone orientation, require the phone to be placed in a particular position, require user intervention, and/or do not work accurately indoors; which limits their ubiquitous usability in different applications.

In this paper we present Humaine, a novel system to reliably and accurately estimate the user orientation relative to the Earth coordinate system. Humaine requires no prior configuration nor user intervention and works accurately indoors and outdoors for arbitrary cell phone positions and orientations relative to the user body. The system applies statistical analysis techniques to the inertial sensors widely available on today's cell phones to estimate both the phone and user orientation. Implementation of the system on different Android devices with 170 experiments performed at different indoor and outdoor testbeds shows that Humaine significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art in diverse scenarios, achieving a median accuracy of 15 degrees averaged over a wide variety of phone positions. This is 558% better than the-state-of-the-art. The accuracy is bounded by the error in the inertial sensors readings and can be enhanced with more accurate sensors and sensor fusion.