A Modular Approach for Synchronized Wireless Multimodal Multisensor Data Acquisition in Highly Dynamic Social Settings

9 Aug 2020  ·  Chirag Raman, Stephanie Tan, Hayley Hung ·

Existing data acquisition literature for human behavior research provides wired solutions, mainly for controlled laboratory setups. In uncontrolled free-standing conversation settings, where participants are free to walk around, these solutions are unsuitable... While wireless solutions are employed in the broadcasting industry, they can be prohibitively expensive. In this work, we propose a modular and cost-effective wireless approach for synchronized multisensor data acquisition of social human behavior. Our core idea involves a cost-accuracy trade-off by using Network Time Protocol (NTP) as a source reference for all sensors. While commonly used as a reference in ubiquitous computing, NTP is widely considered to be insufficiently accurate as a reference for video applications, where Precision Time Protocol (PTP) or Global Positioning System (GPS) based references are preferred. We argue and show, however, that the latency introduced by using NTP as a source reference is adequate for human behavior research, and the subsequent cost and modularity benefits are a desirable trade-off for applications in this domain. We also describe one instantiation of the approach deployed in a real-world experiment to demonstrate the practicality of our setup in-the-wild. read more

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