Event Detection Using Phone Orientation

There was an attempted suicide at ComiCon today. From the comments:

I only looked up and saw it because there were a bunch of people pointing their phones at the sky.

It made me realize that you could detect interesting events using nothing more than aggregate phone orientation data. Here’s a graph of me rotating my phone toward the sky and back:

image

Let’s say for a minute that you could easily get this data for groups of people. If lots of phones are suddenly held up/tilted skyward, you could infer that something interesting was happening.

To take things a step further, combine the orientation information with an image from the front camera-an image of the operator’s face. You could analyze their expression. Presumably people would look distressed at disastrous events, and happy at birthday parties (might have this backwards…).

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2 Responses to Event Detection Using Phone Orientation

  1. Marleau says:

    Would love to incorporate this into a performance piece…

    Also, love the DReetz trademark humor: “You could analyze their expression. Presumably people would look distressed at disastrous events, and happy at birthday parties (might have this backwards…). Heh heh heh.

  2. danreetz says:

    Ah, and who would know it better.

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