Soon enough, your home electrical wiring could do more than just keep electronics running–it could also act as a giant information-transmitting antenna. Researchers at the University of Washington and the Georgia Institute of Technology have leveraged electrical wiring to power wireless sensors able to keep track of a building’s temperature, light level humidity, air quality–essentially any quantifiable building function. With help from the wiring, these sensors could run for decades on a single watch battery, meaning they could even be placed in hard-to-reach areas around the home.
The sensor device, dubbed the Sensor Nodes Utilizing Powerline Infrastructure (SNUPI), sends data via electrical wiring to a central plugged-in base station. And according to SNUPI’s inventors, the device uses less than 1% percent of the energy as compared to the next most efficient data transmission model.
No word yet on when we might see these sensors hit the market, but the researchers behind SNUPI are already working towards commercialization.