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Fig. 2. Three broad categories of smartphone sensors, including the location,
environment and human motion sensors.
the position sensors category [18]. These sensor frameworks
have hardware and software components. The hardware components
have a physical structure that is part of a smartphone
or tablet. They collect the environmental information which
will be processed by the software components.
Table 1 summarizes the type, description and common uses
of the smartphone sensors. Recently, there has been a growing
interest in using smartphones for SHM applications. As
an example, researchers have used accelerometer data from
smartphones to collect structural integrity data at low cost
Sensor
Accelerometer
Temperature
Gravity
Gyroscope
Light
Magnetometer
Orientation
Pressure
Proximity
Humidity
Rotation Vector
50
Type
[19]-[21]. One of the main features of using smartphones for
SHM is that they enable creating a cyber-physical system that
uses the embedded operating system and wireless communication
hardware. Furthermore, smartphones can serve as a
crowdsourcing SHM platform that is powered by citizens [22].
A comprehensive review of the smartphone technology for
civil infrastructure monitoring has been reported in [23].
In this study, we explore the feasibility of using a smartphone
magnetometer to develop a new SHM method based
on the fluctuation of the magnetic fields due to damage progression.
A series of experimental and numerical studies are
performed on intact and cracked steel plates to verify the
proposed monitoring approach. The key to a more efficient
damage detection in this method is to enhance the magnetic
field around the steel plates. To this aim, permanent magnets
are installed on the plates. The developed method offers
promising results and can be tuned for various SHM tasks in a
crowdsourcing platform empowered by citizens.
Methodology
Detection of Magnetic Field Intensity Changes
Using Smartphones
A few endeavors have been made to assess the smartphone
magnetic sensors for expanded reality biometric applications
and geomagnetic storm location [24], [25]. However, the entire
Table 1 - A summary of the features of smartphone sensors
Description
Hardware
Hardware
Software or Hardware
Hardware
Hardware
Hardware
Software
Hardware
Hardware
Hardware
Software or Hardware
Measures the acceleration force that is
applied to a device on all three physical
axes (x, y, and z)
Measures the force of gravity that is
applied to a device on all three physical
axes (x, y, z)
Measures a device rate of rotation around
each of the three physical axes (x, y,
and z)
Measures the ambient light level
Measures the ambient geomagnetic field
for all three physical axes (x, y, z)
Measures degrees of rotation that a
device makes around all three physical
axes (x, y, z)
Measures the ambient air pressure
Measures the proximity of an object
relative to the view screen of a device
Measures the relative ambient humidity
Measures the orientation of a device by
providing the three elements of the
rotation vector
IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine
Application
Motion detection (Shake, tilt, etc.)
Measures the ambient room temperature Monitoring air temperature
Motion detection (Shake, tilt, etc.).
Rotation detection (Spin, turn, etc.)
Controlling screen brightness
Magnetic field, compass, etc.
Determining device position
Monitoring air pressure changes
Phone position during a call
Monitoring dewpoint, absolute,
relative humidity, etc.
Motion detection and rotation
detection
June 2021

Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 24-4

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