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April 23, 2018

Novel approach advances home and health sensors

Computer science team successfully taps electronic "noise" to reveal details about water and energy use

You may get a breakdown of your home energy use in your monthly bill, but what if you could see how much energy your bedroom lamp draws versus your toaster?

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), computer scientist Shwetak Patel and his team at the University of Washington are developing new sensing systems to empower people to make better informed decisions for themselves and their homes.

Patel's initial interest was in providing the most detailed information yet for consumers about their energy and water consumption, and most of that technology has already been transferred to the marketplace. Now, with the same fundamental approach and goals of detail and ease, the researchers have turned their attention to personal health monitoring.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1253709, New Systems and Tools for Residential Sustainability Sensing. It was made through NSF's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program.

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Kate Tobin, Science Nation Producer

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.