A team of computer science researchers consisting of professor Lili Qiu and her Ph.D. students Wenguang Mao and Mei Wang won the Best Paper Award last week at MobiSys 2018 for their work in creating a system that can perform acoustic imaging with a smartphone.

Their paper, “AIM: Acoustic Imaging on a Mobile,” demonstrates a method of acoustic imaging that can be used on a normal smartphone without requiring extra hardware. Instead of light, acoustic imaging uses ultrasound, or sound waves with frequencies too high for humans to hear, and is often used in medical applications to see internal body structures. Acoustic imaging complements the camera-based imaging found on smartphones because the sound waves can detect objects in the dark, penetrate through many materials and even propagate around obstacles. Using an off-the-shelf Samsung Galaxy S7, the researchers were able to identify objects in black trash bags and under clothing using acoustic imaging.

MobiSys, or the International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, is an annual conference sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Mobility of Systems, Users, Data and Computing (ACM SIGMOBILE). The goal of the conference is to present new research on mobile computing and wireless systems, applications and services. This year marks the 16th MobiSys conference, which was hosted by Technische Universität München in Munich, Germany.

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