Human Activity Recognition (HAR) has attracted considerable interest due to its ability to facilitate automation in various application areas, including but not limited to smart homes, active assisted living, and security. At present, optical modalities such as RGB, depth, and thermal imaging are prevalent in the field due to the effectiveness of deep learning algorithms like Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and the abundance of publicly available image data. However, unconventional modalities such as radar, WiFi, seismic and environmental sensors are emerging as potential alternatives due to their capacity for contactless long-range sensing in spatially constrained environments and preservation of visual privacy. This work gives an overview of the HAR modalities landscape and discusses works that apply these emerging modalities in new and unconventional ways to inform researchers and practitioners about challenges and opportunities in the field of HAR.
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