The problem of Lip-reading has become an important research challenge in recent years. The goal is to recognise speech from lip movements. Most of the Lip-reading technologies developed so far are camera-based, which require video recording of the target. However, these technologies have well-known limitations of occlusion and ambient lighting with serious privacy concerns. Furthermore, vision-based technologies are not useful for multi-modal hearing aids in the coronavirus (COVID-19) environment, where face masks have become a norm. This paper aims to solve the fundamental limitations of camera-based systems by proposing a radio frequency (RF) based Lip-reading framework, having an ability to read lips under face masks. The framework employs Wi-Fi and radar technologies as enablers of RF sensing based Lip-reading. A dataset comprising of vowels A, E, I, O, U and empty (static/closed lips) is collected using both technologies, with a face mask. The collected data is used to train machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) models. A high classification accuracy of 95% is achieved on the Wi-Fi data utilising neural network (NN) models. Moreover, similar accuracy is achieved by VGG16 deep learning model on the collected radar-based dataset.


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Cite as

Hameed, H., Usman, M., Tahir, A., Hussain, A., Abbas, H., Cui, T., Imran, M. & Abbasi, Q. 2022, 'Pushing the limits of remote RF sensing by reading lips under the face mask', Nature Communications, 13, article no: 5168. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-32231-1

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Last updated: 12 September 2022
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