Vital-Radio: Smart Homes that Monitor
Breathing and Heart Rate

Personal Health

Vital-Radio can use vital sign information to enhance our health-awareness, answering questions like “Do my breathing and heart rates reflect a healthy lifestyle?”, “Does my child breathe normally during sleep?” or “Does my elderly parent experience irregular heartbeats?”

Environment Adaptation to Mood

Non-intrusive in-home continuous monitoring of breathing and heartbeats could infer our emotional and stree levels and automatically adapt lighting and music to our daliy mood.

Baby Monitor

Imagine Vital-Radio can pick up minute motion and augment existing video-based baby monitoring. Such capability will result in continuous monitoring of baby health and development in a non-disturbing way.


The evolution of ubiquitous sensing technologies has led to intelligent environments that can monitor and react to our daily activities, such as adapting our heating and cooling systems, responding to our gestures, and monitoring our elderly. In this paper, we ask whether it is possible for smart environments to monitor our vital signs remotely, without instrumenting our bodies. We introduce Vital-Radio, a wireless sensing technology that monitors breathing and heart rate without body contact. Vital-Radio exploits the fact that wireless signals are affected by motion in the environment, including chest movements due to inhaling and exhaling and skin vibrations due to heartbeats. We describe the operation of Vital-Radio and demonstrate through a user study that it can track users’ breathing and heart rates with a median accuracy of 99%, even when users are 8 meters away from the device, or in a different room. Furthermore, it can monitor the vital signs of multiple people simultaneously. We envision that Vital-Radio can enable smart homes that monitor people’s vital signs without body instrumentation, and actively contribute to their inhabitants’ well-being.


Smart Homes that Monitor Breathing and Heart Rate    [paper]   [slides]
Fadel Adib, Hongzi Mao, Zachary Kabelac, Dina Katabi, Robert C. Miller
ACM CHI 2015

Demo: Real-time Breath Monitoring Using Wireless Signals    [paper]
Fadel Adib, Zachary Kabelac, Hongzi Mao, Dina Katabi, Robert C. Miller
ACM MobiCom 2014


SIGCHI Best of CHI Honorable Mention Award, 2015

ACM MobiCom Best Demo Award, 2014


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