As more activities become automated with the touch of a button,
Stankovic has won a
Stankovic - also recently chosen by the University of
"Even today, you can do simple things from your phone, like you can go through the Internet and close your garage door, so these kinds of capabilities exist and they're becoming more and more frequent," Stankovic said.
His proposal is geared toward preparing for a future in which sensing and actuation in the home would become a utility, with apps created by independent developers performing energy, security and entertainment functions, among others. The focus of Stankovic's research is to anticipate, detect and resolve conflicts between the various apps.
"It's becoming obvious that the world is becoming covered with sensors and actuators, and so our vision was that eventually there will be an infrastructure for sensing and actuating in homes that we will think of as a utility," just like electricity, water or heat, Stankovic said. "However, if that vision comes to pass, what could happen is all these different applications can act in cross purposes."
For example, Stankovic and the two doctoral students on his team will look at the possibility that one app for health wants to close a window because of high pollen counts (in this scenario, the occupant has asthma), while another app to save energy wants to open a window. "And the two applications are not aware of each other and they're both running, so you have this window going open, close, open, close," he said.
The prospect of providing better home health care options for the elderly is one driving factor for Stankovic.
"Given the situation, where populations in many industrial countries are seeing higher and higher percentages of elderly and the medical systems can't handle them, we're going to require technology to help keep people in their homes, to keep people healthier and to lower costs," he said.
To resolve conflicts, which could present safety issues,
"It's interesting to be able to look at things that are probably not going to happen for 10 to 15 years and to be kind of on the leading edge of trying to solve some of these problems," he said. "There will be a tipping point when eventually there are so many sensors and so many of these apps that it becomes important to just build a more generic infrastructure, this utility layer that then enables an explosion of applications that can be developed and run. I think a whole new marketplace will open up."
TNS 30TagarumaMar-140621-4775325 30TagarumaMar
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