Power Over Power
Right now, energy providers control the Web-based smart meter applications that help homeowners monitor and regulate energy consumption. But with a pervasive computing system developed by computer science and engineering Professor Sajal Das and doctoral student Giacomo Ghidini, consumers would have the power. Funded by a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps grant, the sensor and monitoring system records data that affects resource consumption, such as how many people are in a room, whether they’re engaged in physical activity, and how many appliances or lights are on. The data is analyzed to determine how much energy is needed to cool or heat a home. Homeowners could access information about optimal thermostat settings, for example, via a smartphone and Web-based application.