Activity recognition (AR) from an applied perspective of ambient assisted living (AAL) and smart homes (SH) has become a subject of great interest. Promising a better quality of life, AR applied in contexts such as health, security, and energy consumption can lead to solutions capable of reaching even the people most in need. This study was strongly motivated because levels of development, deployment, and technology of AR solutions transferred to society and industry are based on software development, but also depend on the hardware devices used. The current paper identifies contributions to hardware uses for activity recognition through a scientific literature review in the Web of Science (WoS) database. This work found four dominant groups of technologies used for AR in SH and AAL—smartphones, wearables, video, and electronic components—and two emerging technologies: Wi-Fi and assistive robots. Many of these technologies overlap across many research works. Through bibliometric networks analysis, the present review identified some gaps and new potential combinations of technologies for advances in this emerging worldwide field and their uses. The review also relates the use of these six technologies in health conditions, health care, emotion recognition, occupancy, mobility, posture recognition, localization, fall detection, and generic activity recognition applications. The above can serve as a road map that allows readers to execute approachable projects and deploy applications in different socioeconomic contexts, and the possibility to establish networks with the community involved in this topic. This analysis shows that the research field in activity recognition accepts that specific goals cannot be achieved using one single hardware technology, but can be using joint solutions, this paper shows how such technology works in this regard.
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