Faculty

Texting While Walking Draws Safety Concerns—And An App (WGBH)

By releasing an app that prevents pedestrians from getting hit by traffic, Dartmouth’s Smartphone Sensing Group has joined a growing debate about “distracted walking.”

The group, led by Computer Science Professor Andrew Campbell, has developed a free application for Android phones called WalkSafe. It uses the Android’s camera to detect oncoming cars and alert the phone’s user.

“Smartphones are getting smarter,” Campbell said. “They have a number of in-built sensors. … These sensors allow the phone, for the first time, to mimic human perception.”

Read the full story, published on 12/20/11 by WGBH.

Dartmouth Smartphone App Targets Driver Safety

Joseph Blumberg

“CarSafe” is a driver safety app that detects dangerous driving behavior using dual-cameras on smartphones. This is the latest smartphone app to come out of Dartmouth and is featured in the September 25 NewScientist. The Android app was developed by Professors Andrew Campbell and Lorenzo Torresani in the Department of Computer Science, and Dartmouth’s Smartphone Sensing Group.

The new app offers safety features typically found only in top-of-the-line cars. Simply mount the phone on the windshield with one camera facing the driver and the other facing the road. It operates with navigation apps and monitors the driver and the road while calling attention to dangerous conditions.

The video below, produced by Giuseppe Cardone of the University of Bologna, provides more details on the app and its operation. Cardone was a visiting PhD student working with Campbell and has since returned to Bologna.

Dartmouth Research Imparts Momentum to Mobile Health

Joseph Blumberg

Bracelets and amulets are in the works at Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology, and Society. Rather than items of mere adornment, the scientists and engineers are constructing personal mobile health (mHealth) devices—highly functional jewelry, as it were. mHealth is a rapidly growing field where technology helps you or your physician monitor your health through mobile devices. This approach can offer more accurate and timely diagnoses as well as lower health costs. However, smartphones are often used to transmit collected medical information, and these transmissions are vulnerable to hacking.

Devices Use Biometrics to Prevent Hack Attacks (ARS Technica, Popular Science)

Dartmouth researchers are developing a wearable electronic device that uses a person’s unique physiological responses to protect his or her own medical devices, such as pacemakers, against being tampered with by malicious hackers, reports ARS Technica.

The proposed wearable instrument, worn like a watch, could identify the person who is wearing it and create a protective encryption system for the healthcare devices to which it is linked. ARS Technica points to a statement the authors made in their research explaining the capabilities of the new instrument. “Without any other action on the part of the users, the devices discover each other’s presence, recognize that they are on the same body, develop shared secrets from which to derive encryption keys, and establish reliable and secure communications.”

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