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Human Sensing


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Chapter4: Human Sensing (Textbook, pdf, 1,752KB)

  • 4.1 Information to be measured in human sensing
  • 4.2 Sensing Technology
    • 4.2.1 Measuring external conditions
    • 4.2.2 Measuring internal conditions
    • 4.2.3 Measuring communication condition
  • 4.3 Synthesizing sensing, data overview
  • 4.4 Scenario example of human sensing

What is the relevance of Human Sensing in Field Informatics

The home, office, workplace, classroom, conference, street; all these places can be considered fields where humans act. It is an important aspect of field informatics to conduct observation and analysis of human activities and social actions taken in these fields, discovering human activities and social systems, and designing and establishing new and suitable social systems and environments and also information media and artifacts for the same. The information to be obtained from the field consists of the information about site environment and on humans. Among the information to be obtained from the field, reference is made to the site environment, especially information on nature, and in the first part of this book, this chapter focuses on sensing information on humans. How to observe the various phenomena such as how humans behave in what kind of environment, what kind of communication be performed and in that situation what kind of activity or change happen and recording/analyzing technology of data will be important technology.


Technology for sensing humans has been cultivated in fields such as medicine/physiology, engineering, psychology and so on, and also used in various others such as sociology and so on. Media processing and artificial intelligence used to observe/automatically recognize human actions, human engineering to design artifacts using physiological information, and artificial systems designed with user interfaces are examples. By incorporating technologies used in these fields, we will consider how to observe/analyze the complicated and multitiered phenomenon in such fields in as pluralistic a way as possible, and clarify the relationship.

The current chapter, which is based on this perspective, starts by describing the kind of information to be collected in 4.1, and subsequently explains details of each sensing technology in 4.2. In 4.3, examples of conducting multifaceted data acquisition and browsing of human activities are introduced with the latest information media technology, while in 4.4, scenario examples are considered.

Case Study

Let's consider experience learning as a subject. This covers a varied scope, ranging from nature observation, excavations and environmental activities, to things like job training. For example, this farming experience learning has involved attempts to attract children, city dwellers, who have interest in foods and farming, those who are thinking of engaging in farming in the future, and so on, and has led to practical work in the form of cultivation, harvesting and so on, commencing in various locations. In some cases, it has even been adopted in the curriculums of elementary and junior-high schools. To operate such fields safely and effectively, the operation and learning statuses of attendees must be known in detail. This includes examining the safety and learning effect by recording the condition of experience learning in detail, converting the record obtained into materials, and using the same for advertising. Technically, as a lifelog, a method recording all matters what a participant see/hear and organizing to enable the flexible browsing or a method which relates and records various data is useful.