Seattle Sensors allow secure capturing and sharing of sensor data on smartphones. Modern smart devices possess sensors that provide information for investigating personal needs and behavioral patterns. Therefore, such sensor data is unique and useful in multiple interdisciplinary areas.

Seattle Sensors Overview

This project is about sensors on smartphones. Seattle is now ported onto smartphones, including Android, iOS, Maemo, and other mobile operating systems. With Seattle Sensors, we have a post-desktop version of the Seattle cloud computing platform. Today’s computing is no longer a term for desktop computers — smart devices can do the same, and with embedded sensing capabilities. There is a lot for us to explore with regard to what we can do.

Why Seattle Sensors

First, smart devices produce immensely valuable data for researchers across a wide variety of disciplines. As an interface between our everyday life and the physical world, these devices present valuable data for critical scientific and social pursuits. If properly harnessed, the embedded cellular, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, etc., can objectively record information gathered from the users’ perspective for the benefit of all.

Second, the computational power of modern smartphones is substantial — a fact that has not gone unnoticed by criminals. Although other services like cloud computing provide substantial computing power, dedicated cloud infrastructure has limited host and network heterogeneity, limited scalability, and lack a deployment path on end-user systems. Smartphones, laptops, and tablets are already on the same network as the user and thus minimize latency, which would provide deep insight into parts of the Internet that were previously invisible.

With our blend of herbs and spices that leverage information sensing capabilities, performance isolation and security mechanism, Seattle Sensors will bring benefit to people-centric computing services and society, leading to a digital ecosystem in harmony.

How Seattle Sensors Work

Seattle Sensors provide a unified programmable interface to sensors, so that a researcher with user’s permission can access the sensors on the device through the client side of the instrument. The sandbox interacts with the physical sensors on the device through a common, simplified API, which provides access to sensors in the same way on different devices (an XML-style interface). Even data types can be different depending on the physical sensors, the researcher can easily get the data in a uniform manner. For example, on an Android phone in a campus area, this library may automatically supplement GPS data with WiFi signal and location information [1, 2] to provide more accurate information. However, on a iPhone in a metropolitan area, 4G and WiFi triangulation may prove more accurate. Libraries can automatically improve, refine, and equivocate contextual sensor data from diverse devices. As a result a researcher can write their sensing code once, and get highly accurate data across a diverse set of platforms.

Appropriate Use Panel

For information how to obtain our data or share sensor data with us, please visit Seattle Sensors Appropriate Data Use Panel page.



[1] A. Rafetseder, F. Metzger, L. Puhringer, K. Tutschku, Y. Zhuang, and J. Cappos. Sensorium–a generic sensor framework. Praxis der Informationsverarbeitung und Kommunikation, 36(1):46–46, 2013.

[2] Open3GMap.

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Feb 22, 2013 11:52:30 PM