Typical Accelerometer traces when walking

Walk detection and step counting on unconstrained smartphones


Smartphone pedometry offers the possibility of ubiquitous health monitoring, context awareness and indoor location tracking through Pedestrian Dead Reckoning (PDR) systems. However, there is currently no detailed understanding of how well pedometry works when applied to smartphones in typical, unconstrained use. This paper evaluates common walk detection (WD) and step counting (SC) algorithms applied to smartphone sensor data. Using a large dataset (27 people, 130 walks, 6 smartphone placements) optimal algorithm parameters are provided and applied to the data. The results favour the use of standard deviation thresholding (WD) and windowed peak detection (SC) with error rates of less than 3%. Of the six different placements, only the back trouser pocket is found to degrade the step counting performance significantly, resulting in undercounting for many algorithms.

Proceedings of the 2013 ACM international joint conference on Pervasive and ubiquitous computing