HARKE: Human Activity Recognition from Kinetic Energy Harvesting Data in Wearable Devices


Kinetic energy harvesting (KEH) may help combat battery issues in wearable devices. While the primary objective of KEH is to generate energy from human activities, the harvested energy itself contains information about human activities that most wearable devices try to detect using motion sensors. In principle, it is therefore possible to use KEH both as a power generator and a sensor for human activity recognition (HAR), saving sensor-related power consumption. Our aim is to quantify the potential of human activity recognition from kinetic energy harvesting (HARKE). We evaluate the performance of HARKE using two independent datasets: (i) a public accelerometer dataset converted into KEH data through theoretical modeling; and (ii) a real KEH dataset collected from volunteers performing activities of daily living while wearing a data-logger that we built of a piezoelectric energy harvester. Our results show that HARKE achieves an accuracy of 80 to 95 percent, depending on the dataset and the placement of the device on the human body. We conduct detailed power consumption measurements to understand and quantify the power saving opportunity of HARKE. The results demonstrate that HARKE can save 79 percent of the overall system power consumption of conventional accelerometer-based HAR.


Computer Science

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research


The authors are grateful to the anonymous referees for their insightful comments and constructive suggestions which helped improve the quality of the manuscript significantly. The work of M. Hassan is supported by a Data61-UNSW collaborative research grant. The work of S. K. Das is partially supported by NSF grants under award numbers IIS-1404673 and IIP-1648907.

Keywords and Phrases

Accelerometers; Electric power utilization; Energy harvesting; Internet of things; Kinetic energy; Kinetics; Pattern recognition; Solar cells; Wearable technology; Activity recognition; Biomedical monitoring; Human activity recognition; Power demands; Wearable computing; Wearable sensors

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1536-1233; 1558-0660

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2018