Human body as an antenna

A team of researchers from Microsoft has discovered a home automation system that could eliminate costly rewiring and outsmart even the smartest appliances.

The team has shown that the human body is a natural antenna. It reliably picks up the electromagnetic signals that emanate from all electrical systems and appliances in the home. These ambient signals can be used to create an affordable home automation system that controls household electronics with a pat on the wall or even a simple hand gesture.

The researchers conducted a set of experiments in 10 houses each homeowner was equipped with a laptop and data-acquisition device and had a sensor pad strapped to his or her neck.

Although the test equipment for their initial experiments was rather bulky, the researchers concluded that the sensing equipment could be incorporated easily into a watch or mobile phone.

 

By Daljeet S Walia

 

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