Wearable Camera- and Accelerometer-Based Fall Detection on Portable Devices

Koray Ozcan, Senem Velipasalar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Robust and reliable detection of falls is crucial especially for elderly activity monitoring systems. In this letter, we present a fall detection system using wearable devices, e.g., smartphones, and tablets, equipped with cameras and accelerometers. Since the portable device is worn by the subject, monitoring is not limited to confined areas, and extends to wherever the subject may travel, as opposed to static sensors installed in certain rooms. Moreover, a camera provides an abundance of information, and the results presented here show that fusing camera and accelerometer data not only increases the detection rate, but also decreases the number of false alarms compared to only accelerometer-based or only camera-based systems. We employ histograms of edge orientations together with the gradient local binary patterns for the camera-based part of fall detection. We compared the performance of the proposed method with that of using original histograms of oriented gradients (HOG) as well as a modified version of HOG. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms using original HOG and modified HOG, and provides lower false positive rates for the camera-based detection. Moreover, we have employed an accelerometer-based fall detection method, and fused these two sensor modalities to have a robust fall detection system. Experimental results and trials with actual Samsung Galaxy phones show that the proposed method, combining two different sensor modalities, provides much higher sensitivity, and a significant decrease in the number of false positives during daily activities, compared to accelerometer-only and camera-only methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7289390
Pages (from-to)6-9
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Embedded Systems Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Fall detection
  • gradient local binary patterns
  • histogram of oriented gradients
  • smartphone
  • wearable camera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science(all)

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