Scientists have created a new algorithm that enables smartwatches to not only record your exercise session but also detect when you are brushing your teeth or cooking, an advance that will provide a richer and more accurate picture of your daily life. Current smartwatches can recognise a limited number of particular activities, including yoga and running, but these are programmed in advance. The new method, developed by researchers from University of Sussex in the UK, enables the technology to discover activities as they happen, not just simply when exercising.
"Current activity-recognition systems usually fail because they are limited to recognising a predefined set of activities, whereas of course human activities are not limited and change with time," said Hristijan Gjoreski of the University of Sussex. "Here we present a new machine-learning approach that detects new human activities as they happen in real time, and which outperforms competing approaches," Gjoreski said. Future smartwatches will be able to better analyse and understand our activities by automatically discovering when we engage in some new type of activity. "This new method for activity discovery paints a far richer, more accurate, picture of daily human life," said Daniel Roggen of University of Sussex. "As well as for fitness and lifestyle trackers, this can be used in health care scenarios and in fields such as consumer behaviour research," he added.