The interest in assistive technologies for supporting people at home is constantly increasing, both in academia and industry. In this context the authors propose a fall classification system based on an innovative acoustic sensor that operates similarly to stethoscopes and captures the acoustic waves transmitted through the floor. The sensor is designed to minimize the impact of aerial sounds in recordings, thus allowing a more focused acoustic description of fall events. In this preliminary work, the audio signals acquired by means of the sensor are processed by a fall recognition algorithm based on Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients, Supervectors, and Support Vector Machines to discriminate among different types of fall events. The performance of the algorithm has been evaluated against a specific audio corpus comprising falls of persons and of common objects. The results show the effectiveness of the approach.
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