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Human Body Tracking with Electric Field Ranging

By Miika Valtonen, Henrik Raula and Jukka Vanhala


This paper presents a passive, simple, and affordable electric field based ranging method for capturing human position, leaning, and hand or leg movements. A test system transforms the physical input into a two-dimensional position in an indoor environment. The method and the designed test system can be used, for example, in gaming, virtual exhibition, and virtual reality applications. The proposed system measures the capacitances between a user, standing on a transmitting floor electrode, and four vertically aligned receiver wires placed at the corners of the tracking area. The system converts the measured capacitances to absolute distances, which in turn can be used to resolve the unambiguous position of the user. The design was verified in a 1.8 x 1.8 m-sized test space by using the structures of a virtual reality cave. The test system can track a human body with relative accuracy of less than 10.4 cm at an update rate of 19.5 Hz

Topics: General Terms Algorithms, Measurement, Design, Experimentation, Human Factors. Keywords Human tracking, Human-computer interaction, User Interface, Indoor positioning, Electric Field, Capacitive Measurement
Year: 2011
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