Microsoft TechFest Demo: Tiny Web Services

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft researcher Aman Kansal shows off a prototype web service system he created that consists of a sensor node and a low power module (picture below). The components are meant to be used in conjunction with various home devices that are left on for long periods of time, like fire detectors, thermostats, motion detectors and light switches. Once those devices are equipped with the modules, users can effectively create a secure home network of smart devices that communicate with one another, as well as access information from the internet. Kansal also helped create a nifty little energy management application that monitors things like weather and energy price variations. Using cloud services, the system will turn off your lights during spikes in energy prices and can also determine optimal thermostat settings -- basically spending energy when prices are lowest. The home the system was tested in saved 24 percent in energy bills. Not too shabby.

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