Is an ‘Internet of Ears’ the Next Big Thing for Smart Homes?


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Energy Savings, Building Safety 

They expect the system could provide many benefits.

“The first advantage will be energy efficiency for buildings, especially in lighting and heating, as the systems adjust to how humans are moving from one room to another, allocating energy more efficiently,” Huang said.

Another benefit could be the ability to track and measure a building’s structural integrity and safety, based on human occupancy—which would be critical in an earthquake or hurricane, for example, Huang said.

“This hasn’t really been explored as far as we’ve seen, but we know that humans create a dynamic load on buildings, especially in older buildings,” Huang said. “In collaboration with our colleague YeongAe Heo in Civil Engineering, we are trying to  predict if there is going to be structural damage because of the increased weight or load based on the number of people on the floor or how they are distributed on that floor.”

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