Localizing Acoustic Objects on a Single Phone

Hongzi Zhu, Yuxiao Zhang, Zifan Liu, Xiao Wang, Shan Chang, Yingying Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Finding a small object (e.g., earbuds, keys or a wallet) in an indoor environment (e.g., in a house or an office) can be frustrating. In this paper, we propose an innovative system, called HyperEar, to localize such an object using only a single smartphone, based on enhanced time-difference-of-arrival (TDoA) measurements over acoustic signals issued from the object. One major challenge is the hardware limitations of a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) phone with a short separation between the two microphones and the low sampling rate of such microphones. HyperEar enhances the accuracy of TDoA measurements by virtually increasing distances between microphones through sliding the phone in the air. HyperEar requires no communication for synchronization between the phone and the object and is a low-cost and easy-to-use system. We evaluate the performance of HyperEar via extensive experiments in various indoor conditions and the results demonstrate that, for an object of 7 m away, HyperEar can achieve a mean localization accuracy of about 15 cm when the object in normal indoor environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2170-2183
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Object finding
  • acoustic source localization
  • indoor environment
  • smartphone
  • time difference of arrival


Dive into the research topics of 'Localizing Acoustic Objects on a Single Phone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this