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“Freedom to Tinker” profiles UW CSE professor Shwetak Patel’s research

“Recent ‘gee whiz’ research by Professor Shwetak Patel’s group at the University of Washington provides a really elegant solution.  Every appliance you own – your refrigerator, your flat-screen TV, your toaster – has a different ‘electrical noise signature’ that it draws from the wires in your house.  When you turn it on, this signal is (inadvertently) sent through the electric wires to the circuit-breaker box.  It’s not necessary to buy ‘smart appliances’ that send purpose-designed on-off signals; your ‘dumb’ appliances already send their own noise signatures.”

Read the full post here.  Learn more about the research here.

January 5, 2011