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Sensors 2016, 16(3), 301; doi:10.3390/s16030301

Suitability of Smartphone Inertial Sensors for Real-Time Biofeedback Applications

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 28 December 2015 / Revised: 19 February 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2016 / Published: 27 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2402 KB, uploaded 27 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

This article studies the suitability of smartphones with built-in inertial sensors for biofeedback applications. Biofeedback systems use various sensors to measure body functions and parameters. These sensor data are analyzed, and the results are communicated back to the user, who then tries to act on the feedback signals. Smartphone inertial sensors can be used to capture body movements in biomechanical biofeedback systems. These sensors exhibit various inaccuracies that induce significant angular and positional errors. We studied deterministic and random errors of smartphone accelerometers and gyroscopes, primarily focusing on their biases. Based on extensive measurements, we determined accelerometer and gyroscope noise models and bias variation ranges. Then, we compiled a table of predicted positional and angular errors under various biofeedback system operation conditions. We suggest several bias compensation options that are suitable for various examples of use in real-time biofeedback applications. Measurements within the developed experimental biofeedback application show that under certain conditions, even uncompensated sensors can be used for real-time biofeedback. For general use, especially for more demanding biofeedback applications, sensor biases should be compensated. We are convinced that real-time biofeedback systems based on smartphone inertial sensors are applicable to many similar examples in sports, healthcare, and other areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofeedback system; smartphone sensors; MEMS sensors; sensor noise; Allan variance; bias error; bias compensation; real-time biofeedback application biofeedback system; smartphone sensors; MEMS sensors; sensor noise; Allan variance; bias error; bias compensation; real-time biofeedback application
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kos, A.; Tomažič, S.; Umek, A. Suitability of Smartphone Inertial Sensors for Real-Time Biofeedback Applications. Sensors 2016, 16, 301.

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