Social Sensing: A Wi-Fi based Social Sense for Perceiving the Surrounding People

Yoni Halperin, Galit Buchs, Shachar Maidenbaum, Maya Amenou, Amir Amedi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


People who are blind or have social disabilities can encounter difficulties in properly sensing and interacting with surrounding people. We suggest here the use of a sensory augmentation approach, which will offer the user perceptual input via properly functioning sensory channels (e.g. visual, tactile) for this purpose. Specifically, we created a Wi-Fi signal based system to help the user determine the presence of one or more people in the room. The signal's strength determines the distance of the people in near proximity. These distances are sonified and played sequentially. The Wi-Fi signal arises from common Smartphones, and can therefore be adapted for everyday use in a simple manner. We demonstrate the use of this system by showing it's significance in determining the presence of others. Specifically, we show that it allows to determine the location (i.e. close, inside or outside) and amount of people at each distance. This system can be further adopted for purposes such as locating one's group in a crowd, following a group in a new location, enhancing identification for people with prosopagnosia, raising awareness for the presence of others as part of a rehabilitation behavioral program for people with ASD, or for real-life social networking.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th Augmented Human International Conference, AH 2016
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336802
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Augmented Human International Conference, AH 2016 - Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 25 Feb 201627 Feb 2016

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference7th Augmented Human International Conference, AH 2016


  • Blind
  • Sensory augmentation
  • Sensory substitution
  • Social

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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