Detecting Human Movement by Differential Air Pressure Sensing in HVAC System Ductwork: An Exploration in Infrastructure Mediated Sensing

This paper was about adding sensors to the infrastructure of the home to do motion sensing, In particular adding them to the air filter in the HVAC Systems in homes. They installed five sensors to measure the change in the total static pressure, which is a measure of the resistance on the HVAC’s blower. The static pressure is affected by changes in the airflow back to the unit. Through this, the sensors were able to detect changes in the homes such as doors opening and closing and people standing in the doorways.

I chose this paper for a few reasons. First of all, this paper was assigned as an additional reading in Mobile Ubiquitous Computing last semester, and I wasn’t able to read it. Another reason was that I like the idea of adding sensors to the infrastructure of an environment instead of to the objects in the environment.

The paper is well written and presented but there are some obvious limitations to the practical use of the system. The system can sense the pressure changes due to doors being opened and closed and if adults are standing in doorways, but sensing movement in the rooms themselves isn’t feasible.

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