The UoA's Professor Toshiaki Miyazaki (※1) and Associate Professor Peng Li (※2) exhibited their research findings at the ICT Fair in Tohoku 2019 (※3) held on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 18-19, 2019 at the Sendai Mediatheque in Sendai. Their exhibit, which was on the theme of "Ascertaining Human Activity With Indoor Passive RFID Tags," presented the findings of a research project selected for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Strategic Information and Communications R&D Promotion Programme (SCOPE) (※4).
The technology allows the daily activity of humans to be ascertained without requiring any special device to be worn on the body by simply installing multiple passive RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags indoors. These tags, which do not require batteries, are the same type used on prepaid train cards and anti-theft tags. If put into practical use, the technology would allow people's activity to be monitored longer and with more consideration for privacy than direct camera monitoring. This in turn would make it possible to detect the signs of illness in someone they themselves are unaware of based on changes in their level of activity. It would also make it possible to easily watch over the elderly remotely.
During the event, graduate students from Professor Miyazaki's Computer Organization Lab gave explanations of the nature of the research and demonstrations of the devices to attendees. In turn, the attendees gave valuable feedback that will help with advancing the research in the future. This included comments such as "I hope you'll propose ways to use the technology in the field of dementia prevention and elder care" and "this would be useful for detecting people in off-limits areas in places such as factories."