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Human Activity Recognition Using Inertial Sensors in a Smartphone: An Overview

Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus 69080-900, Brazil
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa ON L1H 7K4, Canada
Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science—INESCTEC, Porto 4200-465, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(14), 3213;
Received: 27 April 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 21 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Technologies for Smart Industry and Smart Infrastructure)
PDF [1451 KB, uploaded 21 July 2019]


The ubiquity of smartphones and the growth of computing resources, such as connectivity, processing, portability, and power of sensing, have greatly changed people’s lives. Today, many smartphones contain a variety of powerful sensors, including motion, location, network, and direction sensors. Motion or inertial sensors (e.g., accelerometer), specifically, have been widely used to recognize users’ physical activities. This has opened doors for many different and interesting applications in several areas, such as health and transportation. In this perspective, this work provides a comprehensive, state of the art review of the current situation of human activity recognition (HAR) solutions in the context of inertial sensors in smartphones. This article begins by discussing the concepts of human activities along with the complete historical events, focused on smartphones, which shows the evolution of the area in the last two decades. Next, we present a detailed description of the HAR methodology, focusing on the presentation of the steps of HAR solutions in the context of inertial sensors. For each step, we cite the main references that use the best implementation practices suggested by the scientific community. Finally, we present the main results about HAR solutions from the perspective of the inertial sensors embedded in smartphones. View Full-Text
Keywords: human activity recognition; smartphones; inertial sensors; features extraction human activity recognition; smartphones; inertial sensors; features extraction

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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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Sousa Lima, W.; Souto, E.; El-Khatib, K.; Jalali, R.; Gama, J. Human Activity Recognition Using Inertial Sensors in a Smartphone: An Overview. Sensors 2019, 19, 3213.

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