Network-Aware 5G Edge Computing for Object Detection: Augmenting Wearables to “See” More, Farther and Faster

Zhongzheng Yuan, Tommy Azzino, Yu Hao, Yixuan Lyu, Haoyang Pei, Alain Boldini, Marco Mezzavilla, Mahya Beheshti, Maurizio Porfiri, Todd E. Hudson, William Seiple, Yi Fang, Sundeep Rangan, Yao Wang, John-Ross Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advanced wearable devices are increasingly incorporating high-resolution multi-camera systems. As state-of-the-art neural networks for processing the resulting image data are computationally demanding, there has been a growing interest in leveraging fifth generation (5G) wireless connectivity and mobile edge computing for offloading this processing closer to end-users. To assess this possibility, this paper presents a detailed simulation and evaluation of 5G wireless offloading for object detection in the case of a powerful, new smart wearable called VIS 4 ION, for the Blind-and-Visually Impaired (BVI). The current VIS 4 ION system is an instrumented book-bag with high-resolution cameras, vision processing, and haptic and audio feedback. The paper considers uploading the camera data to a mobile edge server to perform real-time object detection and transmitting the detection results back to the wearable. To determine the video requirements, the paper evaluates the impact of video bit rate and resolution on object detection accuracy and range. A new street scene dataset with labeled objects relevant to BVI navigation is leveraged for analysis. The vision evaluation is combined with a full-stack wireless network simulation to determine the distribution of throughputs and delays with real navigation paths and ray-tracing from new high-resolution 3D models in an urban environment. For comparison, the wireless simulation considers both a standard 4G-Long Term Evolution (LTE) sub-6-GHz carrier and high-rate 5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) carrier. The work thus provides a thorough and detailed assessment of edge computing for object detection with mmWave and sub-6-GHz connectivity in an application with both high bandwidth and low latency requirements.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29612-29632
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2022


  • 5G wireless
  • Mobile edge computing
  • deep learning
  • millimeter-wave
  • mobile machine vision
  • object detection
  • smart wearables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Network-Aware 5G Edge Computing for Object Detection: Augmenting Wearables to “See” More, Farther and Faster'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this