TagBreathe: Monitor Breathing with Commodity RFID Systems

Yuxiao Hou, Yanwen Wang, Yuanqing Zheng

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Breath monitoring helps assess the general personal health and gives clues to chronic diseases. Yet current breath monitoring technologies are inconvenient and intrusive. For instance, typical breath monitoring devices need to attach nasal probes or chest bands to users. Wireless sensing technologies have been applied to monitor breathing using radio waves without physical contact. Those wireless sensing technologies however require customized radios which are not readily available. More importantly, due to interference, such technologies do not work well with multiple users. With multiple users in presence, the detection accuracy of existing systems decreases dramatically. In this paper, we propose to monitor users' breathing using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) RFID systems. In our system, passive lightweight RFID tags are attached to users' clothes and backscatter radio waves, and commodity RFID readers report low level data (e.g., phase values). We track periodic body movement due to inhaling and exhaling by analyzing the low level data reported by commodity readers. To enhance the measurement robustness, we synthesize data streams from an array of multiple tags to improve the monitoring accuracy. Our design follows the standard EPC protocol which arbitrates collisions in the presence of multiple tags. We implement a prototype the breath monitoring system with commodity RFID systems. The experiment results show that the prototype system can simultaneously monitor breathing with high accuracy even with the presence of multiple users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE 37th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781538617915
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2017
Event37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017 - J.W. Marriott Hotel, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 20178 Jun 2017


Conference37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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