Tracking of Human-Object Interactions


Executive Summary


Understanding how people interact with objects such as consumer products or tools is useful for the development of improvements, the creation of future products, and ensuring safety. Continuously monitoring these interactions is challenging, however, particularly when sensors such as video monitors are impractical or unwanted. This technology continuously monitors human-object interactions using low-cost, low-power wireless radio-frequency (RF) signals. By combining radar measurement of moving people with wireless radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies, our technology is capable of independently measuring the movements of humans and the objects they are interacting with. By differentiating the motions of humans and objects, the nature of the interactions can be determined, leading to a robust and reliable method for analyzing numerous aspects, including length of interactions, range of motions, and specific types of motions.


Description of Technology


The wireless system combines two unique technologies to enable differentiable measurement of human-object interactions: radar measurement of moving people, and passive harmonic RFID tags for measuring object movement. Using a low-power signal, radar detects and tracks the minute motions of the human body by measuring the shifts induced in the signals reflected off the various moving parts of the human body. By processing the signals, motions due to the movement of the arms, legs, body, etc. can be measured. Our approach uses harmonic RF tags on the objects. The human and object signals are processed so that the motion of the object and human can be easily differentiated.


Key Benefits

  • Detection of human motion
  • Tagging of objects for easy differentiation
  • Continuous three dimensional motion tracking
  • Real-time
  • Non-invasive



  • Measuring micro-motions of people and objects simultaneously
  • Human-product interactions
  • Human-object interactions


Patent Status


Patent Pending


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available




Jeffrey Nanzer


Tech ID





Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University