To provide accurate activity recognition within a smart environment, visible spectrum cameras can be used as data capture devices in solution applications. Privacy, however, is a significant concern with regards to monitoring in a smart environment, particularly with visible spectrum cameras. Their use, therefore, may not be ideal. The need for accurate activity recognition is still required and so an unobtrusive approach is addressed in this research highlighting the use of a thermopile infrared sensor as the sole means of data collection. Image frames of the monitored scene are acquired from a thermopile infrared sensor that only highlights sources of heat, for example, a person. The recorded frames feature no discernable characteristics of people; hence privacy concerns can successfully be alleviated. To demonstrate how thermopile infrared sensors can be used for this task, an experiment was conducted to capture almost 600 thermal frames of a person performing four single component activities. The person’s position within a room, along with the action being performed, is used to appropriately predict the activity. The results demonstrated that high accuracy levels, 91.47%, for activity recognition can be obtained using only thermopile infrared sensors.
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