A Really Helpful House

 As we get older we forget odd things. Like where we last saw our car keys, the cordless phone or the dog. The cordless phone will try and let us know if someone calls, we may even have our car keys connected to a gadget that will squeak if we’re searching, but the dog? Well, he’s probably gone off with someone more reliable.

But don’t panic, Nirjon and Stankovic from U of Virginia are rushing to our aid with a new high tech breakthrough called “Kinsight” (1). The system uses Microsoft’s Kinect sensors scattered liberally throughout the house and all connected up to your computer.

The system follows you around the house and notes where you put a range of your everyday household objects. Each sensor has a range of a little over 3 meters so you will need a number of these around.

The motions sensors in Kinect can recognize a figure so they will track other people losing things as well as you. Of course, the secret is in the extensive programing and training the system which things you want to lose and those that you don’t.

You will also need to be careful when you install such a system with locations such as bedrooms and bathrooms. However, the big advantage of this type of system over having RFID chips in everything is that is ultimately cheaper and simpler. In addition other people could read your chips when you are wandering out and about, which is something that you probably would wish to avoid.

I was champing at the bit because it wasn’t wireless and I could have it as an app on my iPhone until I realized that I could be totally lost if I forgot where I put it. One can imagine how the system could be expanded so that we’d be living in a really helpful house that would note how much and what foods we’d put in the fridge and warn us when they should be replenished or were becoming outdated, as well as other useful bits of advice.

  1. http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~stankovic/psfiles/DCOSS2012.pdf

Leave a Reply