RisQ: Recognizing Smoking Gestures with Inertial Sensors on a Wristband

MobiSys. 2014 Jun;2014:149-161. doi: 10.1145/2594368.2594379.


Smoking-induced diseases are known to be the leading cause of death in the United States. In this work, we design RisQ, a mobile solution that leverages a wristband containing a 9-axis inertial measurement unit to capture changes in the orientation of a person's arm, and a machine learning pipeline that processes this data to accurately detect smoking gestures and sessions in real-time. Our key innovations are fourfold: a) an arm trajectory-based method that extracts candidate hand-to-mouth gestures, b) a set of trajectory-based features to distinguish smoking gestures from confounding gestures including eating and drinking, c) a probabilistic model that analyzes sequences of hand-to-mouth gestures and infers which gestures are part of individual smoking sessions, and d) a method that leverages multiple IMUs placed on a person's body together with 3D animation of a person's arm to reduce burden of self-reports for labeled data collection. Our experiments show that our gesture recognition algorithm can detect smoking gestures with high accuracy (95.7%), precision (91%) and recall (81%). We also report a user study that demonstrates that we can accurately detect the number of smoking sessions with very few false positives over the period of a day, and that we can reliably extract the beginning and end of smoking session periods.