Ultrasonic Doppler Sensing in HCI

Sensors are the eyes, ears, and skin of computing interfaces. Whether they’re simple buttons or sophisticated vision systems, we’re empowered by their capabilities and constrained by their shortcomings. A tremendous amount of HCI research has focused on maximizing the effectiveness and use of these channels. These developments, in concert with significant advances in electronics, have enabled us to bring the power of computation to a wider audience and into more aspects of our lives.

Researchers and practitioners can now draw upon a large suite of sensing technologies for their work. Relying on thermal, chemical, electromagnetic, optical, acoustic, mechanical, and other means, these sensors can detect faces, hand gestures, humidity, blood pressure, acceleration, proximities, and many other aspects of our state and environment. In this paper, we present an overview of our work on an ultrasonic Doppler sensor (not to be confused with ultrasonic range-finding or sonar). This technique has unique qualities that we believe make it a valuable addition to the suite of sensing approaches HCI researchers and practitioners should consider in their applications.



Bhiksha Raj - Carnegie Mellon University
Kaustubh Kalgaonkar - Microsoft
Paul Dietz - Microsoft


Raj, B., Kalgaonkar, K., Harrison, C. and Dietz, P. Ultrasonic Doppler Sensing in HCI. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 11(2), April - June, 2012. IEEE, Washington, D.C. 24-29.

© Chris Harrison