mBeacon: Accurate, Robust Proximity Detection with Smart Phones and Smart Watches Using Low Frequency Modulated Magnetic Fields

Gerald Pirkl, Peter Hevesi, Jingyuan Cheng, Paul Lukowicz

In: Proceedings of the 10th EAI International Conference on Body Area Networks. IEEE International Conference on Body Sensor Networks (BSN-15) ICST, Brussels, Belgium, Belgium Pages 186-191 BodyNets '15 ISBN 978-1-63190-084-6 ICST (Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering) 2015.


We describe a proximity detection method that leverages the internal magnetic field sensors in smart phones and smart watches to allow reliable, robust detection of proximity to predefined regions of interest within a 30--50cm radius. For marking the regions, low cost, unobtrusive, easily deployable magnetic field beacons have been implemented. We evaluate our system in 5 different use cases in semi-naturalistic lab experiments inspired by different application domains.

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German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz