Method for people motion detection by cellular signal quality

Data di pubblicazione






Data di priorità





Politecnico di Milano


Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering


Umberto Spagnolini, Stefano Savazzi, Vittorio Rampa


A method/system was developed for the detection of the movement of any person based on the perturbation of the radio signals received by a radio device (e.g., smart phone) connected to a cellular wireless wide area network (WWAN) characterized by:

  • a broadcast signal collecting the set of active transmitters surrounding one device;
  • receiving the cellular signal quality (CSQ) from each of the active transmitters and collecting this information into a Table of CSQ state;
  • transmitting the Table of CSQ state to a back-end server hosted at a cloud datacenter for cloud processing;
  • receiving from the cloud a set of location-specific motion detection parameters, in the form of manipulated Table of CSQ as well as some thresholds/parameters to manipulate the Table of CSQ locally, and forwarding these parameters to the radio device requesting the use of the movement detection tool.
  • Campo di applicazione

    <p> The invention enables any cellular phone to act as motion sensing device using the built-in functionalities of mobility system in any mobile phone as this is intrinsic in the GSM/UMTS/LTE standards and therefore in any future standard related to cellular WWAN networks. </p>


    <p> The invention has several potential applications at consumer-level that can benefit from the extreme simplicity of the proposed architecture/method that cannot be addressed by existing systems. </p> <p> In-fact, in contrast to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, that can be turned on and off according to the user demands, cellular radios (e.g., 2G, 3G or LTE) are never really disconnected. Even in idle mode, they carry out continuous and autonomous measurements of the radio channel conditions. This is also performed, in agreement with standardized reselection procedures that continuously select a better cell while still being responsive to paging operations. The availability of such a new paradigm offers an additional, truly ubiquitous and unobtrusive, capability that gives any device the ability to sense its surrounding space, as well as any physical relationship with the use, when mobile device is still. This, in turn, could enable proximity based services, such as personal sensing, monitoring of daily user habits, assisted living and remote surveillance. Occupancy and proximity detection, based on the aggregated analysis of the multi-link CSQ data from multiple WWAN enabled devices in IoT scenarios could also attract considerable attention in many smart building energy management applications where heating and cooling can be automatically optimized based on detecting the level of occupancy. </p> <p> All these applications can run in the background for an always-on sensing without any explicit user intervention or additional battery usage compared to the conventional solutions that often require supplementary sensors or long sleep periods. Other applications are at consumer-level to use each mobile device (or every IoT radio device) as dense sensing system for the environment. </p>

    Stadio di sviluppo

    Advanced Cloud-based prototype & validations