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Is an “Internet of Ears” the next big thing for smart homes?

Is an "Internet of Ears" the next big thing for smart homes? The houses have become progressively "smarter" for decades,…

Is an “Internet of Ears” the next big thing for smart homes?

The houses have become progressively “smarter” for decades, but the next generation’s smart homes can offer which two Western Reserve University researchers call an “Internet of Ears”.

Today’s smart home has appliances, entertainment systems, security cameras and lighting, heating and cooling systems connected to each other and the Internet. They can be accessed and controlled remotely via computer or smartphone applications.

The technique of linking commercial, industrial or public buildings, once through entire societies, is called “the Internet of Things” or the IoT. [1

9659003] But a few electrical engineering and computer science professors in the Case School of Engineering have experimented with a new series of sensors. This system would not only read the vibrations, the sounds – and even the specific time or other movements associated with humans and animals in a building, but also some subtle changes in the existing surrounding electric field.

While still a decade or so away, future homes can be a building that adapts to your business with just a few small hidden sensors in the walls and the floor and without the need for invasive cameras.

A building that listens “

” We are trying to create a building that can “listen” to the people inside, says Ming-Chun Huang, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

“We use principles similar to the human ear, where vibrations are picked up and our algorithms decipher them to determine your specific movements. That’s why we call it” Internet of Ears. “”

Huang conducts research around human walking and motion tracking while Soumyajit Mandal, T. and A. Schroeder Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, focus on vibration detection and changes in the existing electric field caused by the presence of humans or even pets.

“There is actually a constant 60 Hz electric field around us, and because people are leading, they shorten the field just a little,” Mandal said. “So, by measuring the disturbance in that area, we can determine their presence or even breathing, even when there are no vibration associated with sound.

Huang and Mandal presented their work at the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ) Sensor conference in Glasgow, Scotland last year and published further details of this year’s IEEE sensors in New Delhi, India. A longer version of the results is published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement at the beginning of next year.

Mandal said that they have used as few as four small sensors in the walls and the floor of a room. In terms of integrity, Mandal said that the system could not identify individuals, even if it could be calibrated to recognize the different gaits of the people.

Energy Savings, Building Security

They expect the system to provide many benefits.

“The first f The scar is energy efficiency for buildings, especially in lighting and heating, as the systems adapt to how people move from one room to another, distributing energy more efficiently. “Huang said.

Another advantage may be the ability to trace and measure the structural integrity and security of the building, based on human occupancy – which would be critical in an earthquake or hurricane, for example, Huang said.

“This hasn I have really been explored as far as we have seen, but we know that people are creating a dynamic burden on buildings, especially in older buildings,” Huang said. “In cooperation with our colleague YeongAe Heo in Civil Engineering, we are trying to predict if there will be structural damage due to increased weight or load based on the number of people on the floor or how they are distributed on the floor. “

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