VibroComm: Using Commodity Gyroscopes for Vibroacoustic Data Reception (MobileHCI ’20)

Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) with gyroscopic sensors are standard in today’s mobile devices. We show that these sensors can be co-opted for vibroacoustic data reception. Our approach, called VibroComm, requires direct physical contact to a transmitting (i.e., vibrating) surface. This makes interactions targeted and explicit in nature, making it well suited for contexts with many targets or requiring and intent. It also offers an orthogonal dimension of physical security to wireless technologies like Bluetooth and NFC. Using our implementation, we achieve a transfer rate over 2000 bits/sec with less than 5% packet loss – an order of magnitude faster than prior IMU-based approaches at a quarter of the loss rate, opening new, powerful and practical use cases that could be enabled on mobile devices with a simple software update.

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