Measuring structural deformations in the laboratory environment using smartphones

Rolands Kromanis*, Yan Xu, Darragh Lydon, Jesus Martinez del Rincon, Amin Al-Habaibeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


The engineering education and research sectors are interlinked, and there exists a need within both for readily deployable low-cost systems. Smartphones are affordable and easy to use technology available to almost everyone. Images or video frames taken with smartphone cameras, of structures subjected to loadings, can be analyzed to measure structural deformations. Such applications are very useful for university students and researchers when performing tests in laboratory environments. This paper investigates the feasibility of using smartphone technologies to measure structural deformation in the laboratory environment. Images and videos collected while structures are subjected to static, dynamic, and quasi-static loadings are analyzed with freeware and proprietary software. This study demonstrates capabilities of smartphone technologies, when coupled with suitable image processing software, for providing accurate information about structural deformations. Smartphones and open source software are affordable and available in comparison to professional cameras and proprietary software. The technology can be further developed to be used in real world environments to monitor deformation of engineering structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalFrontiers in Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Deformation monitoring
  • Dynamic test
  • Image processing
  • Laboratory tests
  • Quasi-static test
  • Smartphone technologies
  • Static test
  • Vision-based


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