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This fascinating article and paper have been making the rounds amongst DC dorks. Seems like there’s lots of potential here for smart metering and other low power sensing, including medical applications.

If these walls had ears, they might tell a homeowner some interesting things. Like when water is dripping into an attic crawl space, or where an open window is letting hot air escape during winter.

The walls do have ears, thanks to a device that uses a home’s electrical wiring as a giant antenna. Sensors developed by researchers at the University of Washington and the Georgia Institute of Technology use residential wiring to transmit information to and from almost anywhere in the home, allowing for wireless sensors that run for decades on a single watch battery. The technology, which could be used in home automation or medical monitoring, will be presented this month at the Ubiquitous Computing conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

[Via Eric Miller and Alberto Gaitán of HacDC]

Home’s electrical wiring acts as antenna to receive low-power sensor data