CES 2014 Trend: Oh What a Sensor Can Do!

December 28, 2013
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At CES 2014, expect to see dozens of exhibitors showcasing sensors that measure eye movement, physiology, proximity down to inches, personal activity … and multiple things at once.

But for years home systems integrators have concocted creative applications using current sensor technologies integrated into their home automation solutions. We asked CE pros about some of their implementations, beyond the usual occupancy and temperature monitoring that today are de rigueur in home control.

We named “Sensors” as one of the Top 5 Home Technology Opportunities for 2014 and will have that story posted online in the new year. CE Pro subscribers can read it right now in the Jan. 2014 digital issue.

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Kyle Fraughton of CardAccess, a manufacturer of ZigBee devices, placed pressure sensors underneath the couch cushions that would trigger his home-control system to turn the TV on to “Dora the Explorer” between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays so the kids wouldn’t have to wake the grown-ups that early.

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Responding to water damage in an assisted care facility caused by residents failing to close the shower door, Thomas Ardolf of Cybermation in Waite Park, Minn., installed a wireless security sensor on the door, linking it to a Watercop water valve. Water will not flow to the shower head if the shower door is open.

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Johnathan Lake, owner of Control Freaks in Roscoe, Ill., is working on a sensor-based solution for monitoring bar inventory. Weight sensors installed on the liquor shelves at a local bar will adjust the color of an LED board beneath each bottle (from green to yellow to red to off) depending the weight of the bottle. A full bottle lights up green; a near-empty bottle warns the bar manager with a red glow; an absent bottle goes dark.

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Integrator Joe Whitaker of iElectronics installed contact sensors on all of the toilet seats in his home. When the seat is up, a red LED flashes on the rooms dimmer, “so when I am leaving the bathroom I am alerted that I will be in trouble if I don’t put the seat down.” Whitaker also links his door/window sensors to his sprinkler system to douse any would-be intruder.

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Total Control Remotes owner Vincent Bova takes a subtle approach to unwanted guests using a long-distance wireless sensor. He installed one at the front cellar steps of a New York City townhome where homeless people would often camp out. “When the sensor is tripped,” he says, “there is audio that plays over the outdoor speakers that say, ‘Motion detected,’ softly enough for them to get the hint.”

Check out more apps from the CE Pro Linkedin community.

Article source: http://www.cepro.com/article/ces_2014_trend_oh_what_a_sensor_can_do/

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