Two graduate students from Auburn’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Wireless Engineering Research and Education Center, with help from their faculty advisor, were recently recognized for their vital sign monitoring system.
“SonarBeat: Sonar Phase for Breathing Beat Monitoring with Smartphones,” developed by Xuyu Wang, Runze Huang and Shiwen Mao, won the Best Demo Award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
Their project uses wireless transmitters, like a smartphone or a laptop, to monitor the respiration rates of people without having to attach anything to their body.
“We use a speaker and microphone to emulate an active sonar system,” Wang said. “The signal passes through the human chest to the microphone which records it, and from that we use a signal processing technique to calculate that breathing.”
The team has been working on SonarBeat for a year now, and hope to have the system used in health care, disaster recovery and drowsy driving detection.
“The technology is contact-free, low-cost, easy to deploy and suitable for long-term monitoring of a patient's conditions," Mao said. “"In addition, the wireless system's signal is able to penetrate obstacles and could be used to locate survivors in the aftermath of a disaster or to detect breathing patterns and sound an alarm to wake a tired driver."
Mao said that they have a provisional patent on the project filed, but plan to continue work on the project at the University before it is released to the public.
The award-winning demo was held at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Sensing, Communication and Networking, or IEEE SECON.