Using RF transmissions from IoT devices for occupancy detection and activity recognition

Wenda Li, Shelly Vishwakarma, Chong Tang, Karl Woodbridge, Robert J. Piechocki, Kevin Chetty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


IoT ecosystems consist of a range of smart devices that generated a plethora of Radio Frequency (RF) transmissions. This provides an attractive opportunity to exploit already-existing signals for various sensing applications such as e-Healthcare, security and smart home. In this paper, we present Passive IoT Radar (PIoTR), a system that passively uses RF transmissions from IoT devices for human monitoring. PIoTR is designed based on passive radar technology, with a generic architecture to utilize various signal sources including the WiFi signal and wireless energy at the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band. PIoTR calculates the phase shifts caused by human motions and generates Doppler spectrogram as the representative. To verify the proposed concepts and test in a more realistic environment, we evaluate PIoTR with four commercial IoT devices for home use. Depending on the effective signal and power strength, PIoTR performs two modes: coarse sensing and fine-grained sensing. Experimental results show that PIoTR can achieve an average of 91% in occupancy detection (coarse sensing) and 91.3% in activity recognition (fine-grained sensing).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2484-2495
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


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