A team of researchers in the U.S are trying to make our homes technology smart by creating a mega sensor that can monitor the various devices in a room from the fan, TV, to the paper towel dispenser and even the tea kettle. The technology combines various existing smart home sensors into one small sized mega sensor that can fit inside a person’s palm.
Gierad Laput, the lead researcher is a graduate student of computer-human interaction at the Carnegie Mellon University. The mega sensor, is all part of his project, which he calls Synthetic Sensors. His aim is to create a mega sensor that can smartly monitor and control other devices in the room. It should be able for example to tell when someone enters or leaves the room, track a person’s activity in home by monitoring their use of the home’s appliances, and even tell how many paper towels are left.
In a test conducted, about 5 of the mega sensors were placed in one building, one each in different rooms for 2 weeks. The sensors were placed in the kitchen, classroom, office and common area. The test was successful as it could monitor and tell when the sink, microwave and coffee machine were in use and even when there was a knock on the office door.
The mega smart home sensor was displayed at the CHI computer-human interaction conference in Denver, sometime in May, 2017. The researchers say the device performed accurately well during its initial test but the team is now subjecting about 100 units made to a stress test. The cost of manufacture is about $100 per unit, but the researchers expect the cost to drop as low as $30 a unit when it is being manufactured in commercial volumes.
The smart home mega sensor is able to monitor sound, motion, humidity, pressure, electromagnetic interference, intensity of light, temperature and many other variables in the home. This increase the application options and functionality of the device.