Breathe-to-Pair (B2P): Respiration-Based Pairing Protocol for Wearable Devices

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 15th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks (ACM WiSec)


We propose Breathe-to-Pair (B2P), a protocol for pairing and sharedkey generation for wearable devices that leverages the wearer's respiration activity to ensure that the devices are part of the same body-area network. We assume that the devices exploit different types of sensors to extract and process the respiration signal. We illustrate B2P for the case of two devices that use respiratory inductance plethysmography (RIP) and accelerometer sensors, respectively. Allowing for different types of sensors in pairing allows us to include wearable devices that use a variety of different sensors. In practice, this form of sensor variety creates a number of challenges that limit the ability of the shared-key establishment algorithm to generate matching keys. The two main obstacles are the lack of synchronization across the devices and the need for correct noise-induced mismatches between the generated key bit-strings. B2P addresses the synchronization challenge by utilizing Change Point Detection (CPD) to detect abrupt changes in the respiration signal and consider their occurrences as synchronizing points. Any potential mismatches are handled by optimal quantization and encoding of the respiration signal in order to maximize the mismatch correction rate and minimize the message overheads. Extensive evaluation on a dataset collected from 30 volunteers demonstrates that our protocol can generate a secure 256-bit key every 2.85 seconds (around one breathing cycle). Particular attention is given to secure B2P against device impersonation attacks.


Presented at the 15th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks (ACSM WiSec) Held at Univ Texas San Antonio, San Antonio, TX MAY 16-19, 2022