Approaches for Inaudible Acoustic Communication

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Edmund Noval PhD Thesis: "Security and Provacy for Ubiquitous Mobile Devices". The author has developed an ultrasonic communication protocol (based on binary phase/frequency shift keying), see Chapter 4 for details. It has a theoretical transmission rate of 4.6kbps and operates between 18 and 22kHz. It uses phase and frequency coding.
Lee, H., Kim, T. H., Choi, J. W., & Choi, S. (2015, April). Chirp signal-based aerial acoustic communication for smart devices. In 2015 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM) (pp. 2407-2415). IEEE. Smart devices such as smartphones and tablet/wearable PCs are equipped with voice user interface, i.e., speaker and microphone. Accordingly, various aerial acoustic communication techniques have been introduced to utilize the voice user interface as a communication interface. In this paper, we propose an aerial acoustic communication system using inaudible audio signal for low-rate communication in indoor environments. By adopting chirp signal, which is widely used for radar applications due to its capability of resolving multi-path propagation, the proposed acoustic modem supports long-range communication independent of device characteristics over severely frequency-selective acoustic channel. We also design a backend server architecture to compensate for the low data rate of chirp signal-based acoustic modem. Via extensive experiments, we evaluate various characteristics of the proposed modem including multi-path resolution and multiple chirp signal detection. We also verify that the proposed chirp signal can deliver data at 16 bps in typical indoor environments, where its maximum transmission range is drastically extended up to 25 m compared to the few meters of the previous research. Basis for encoding the informationa are chirp sounds. Frequency range: 19.5-22kHz, range: up to 25 meters
T. Hosman, M. Yeary, J. K. Antonio, and B. Hobbs, ―Multitone FSK for ultrasonic communication,‖ in Proc. Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference IEEE, 2010, pp. 1424–1429. Traditional radio frequency communication schemes are not capable of transmitting signals through metal enclosures. However, in some applications it is necessary to transmit information to/from devices located inside metal enclosures, e.g., a closed shipping container in transit. A conformal ultrasonic communication system based on multi-tone FSK (MFSK) has been developed and evaluated using steel corner posts from shipping containers as the communication medium. The communication system is configurable, consisting of two or more modules. A module is mounted to a metal surface and utilizes an inexpensive ultrasonic transducer to send and receive modulated signals through the metal channel. A module also makes use of an inexpensive DSP chip for modulating and demodulating MFSK signals. For the shipping container application, experiments were conducted that achieve data rates of approximately 800 bps. Experiments related to two scenarios for the shipping container application were investigated: (1) communicating through one container and (2) communication between stacked containers. For the second case, experiments were conducted with modules on two separate corner posts that are under compressive load. Application: communication inside shipping containers
C. Li, D. Hutchins, and R. Green, ―Short-range ultrasonic digital communications in air,‖ IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 908–918, 2008. The use of ultrasound in air as a means of communicating digital signals is demonstrated. The work uses capacitive transducers with a useful bandwidth to transmit digitally coded signals across an air gap in the laboratory, using three of the common methods used in digital communications. These are on-off keying (OOK), binary frequency-shift keying (BFSK), and binary phase shift keying (BPSK). All three methods are simulated numerically using the available bandwidth of the transducer systems and are compared to results obtained experimentally. It is demonstrated that BPSK can be used to transmit signals with a low bit error rate. 3 types of modulations are evaluated: on-off keying, binary frequency shift keying and binary phase keying
Santagati, G. E., & Melodia, T. (2016). A Software-Defined Ultrasonic Networking Framework for Wearable Devices. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking Wearable medical devices with wireless capabilities have become the cornerstone of many revolutionary digital health applications that promise to predict and treat major diseases by acquiring and processing physiological information. Existing wireless wearable devices are connected through radio frequency electromagnetic wave carriers based on standards, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. However, these solutions tend to almost blindly scale down traditional wireless technologies to the body environment, with little or no attention to the peculiar characteristics of the human body and the severe privacy and security requirements of patients. We contend that this is not the only possible approach, and we introduce U-Wear, the first networking framework for wearable medical devices based on ultrasonic communications. U-Wear encloses a set of physical, data link, and network layer functionalities that can flexibly adapt to application and system requirements to efficiently distribute information between ultrasonic wearable devices. U-Wear also offers reconfiguration functionalities at the application layer to provide a flexible platform to develop medical applications. We design two prototypes that implement U-Wear and operate in the near-ultrasonic frequency range using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) speakers and microphones. Despite the limited bandwidth, i.e., about 2 kHz, and COTS hardware components not optimized for operating at high frequency, our prototypes: 1) achieve data rates up to 2.76 kbit/s with bit-error-rate lower than 10⁻⁵ using a transmission power of 13 dBm (20 mW); 2) enable multiple nodes to share the medium; and 3) implement reconfigurable processing to extract medical parameters from sensors with high accuracy. Ultrasonic communication for communication between medical devices; 2.7kbit/s with error rate 10^-5
Wang, Q., Ren, K., Zhou, M., Lei, T., Koutsonikolas, D., & Su, L. (2016, October). Messages behind the sound: real-time hidden acoustic signal capture with smartphones. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (pp. 29-41). ACM. With the ever-increasing use of smart devices, recent research endeavors have led to unobtrusive screen-camera communication channel designs, which allow simultaneous screen viewing and hidden screen-camera communication. Such practices, albeit innovative and effective, require well-controlled alignment of camera and screen and obstacle-free access. In this paper, we develop Dolphin, a novel form of real-time acoustics-based dual-channel communication, which uses a speaker and the microphones on off-the-shelf smartphones to achieve concurrent audible and hidden communication. By leveraging masking effects of the human auditory system and readily available audio signals in our daily lives, Dolphin ensures real-time unobtrusive speaker-microphone data communication without affecting the primary audio-hearing experience for human users, while, at the same time, it overcomes the main limitations of existing screen-camera links. Our Dolphin prototype, built using off-the-shelf smartphones, realizes real-time hidden communication, supports up to 8-meter signal capture distance and ±90° listening angle and achieves decoding rate above 80% without error correction. Further, it achieves average data rates of up to 500bps while keeping the decoding rate above 95% within a distance of 1m. The dolphin framework is presented for ultrasonic communication with smartphones

technology behind: orthogonal frequency division multiplexin (OFDM) ||