As highlighted by The Loop, Chris Baraniuk reports for New Scientist, “‘Nest has always been a company that’s been interested not just in devices but also the data and algorithms behind them,’ says Sara Watson at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. ‘Obviously that’s going to pique Google’s interest.'”
“The Nest thermostat is designed to learn when and how you like to heat your home. After a 12-day set-up period, the device has learned your basic schedule, is able to turn the heating on and off intelligently, and in the process it attempts to save you energy by only firing up the boiler when you really need it,” Baraniuk reports. “Watson believes Google is now a company obsessed with viewing everyday activities as ‘”information problems’ to be solved by machine learning and algorithms.”
“There are methods of inferring what devices are being used in a home at a given moment. It’s an aspect of ‘non-intrusive load monitoring,’ whereby the energy signatures of individual devices like your washing machine or TV can be picked up as part of the overall energy input to the house,” Baraniuk reports. “Researchers in 2011 were even able to use a similar approach to determine what movie was being watched on a television set by making energy profiles of each film. This was achieved by observing that a television’s electricity load will vary over time depending on whether dark or light scenes are being displayed to the viewer. Although the researchers in question relied on very granular data from the television set, Danezis worries that such techniques could one day offer smart-home companies an X-ray view of your home.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Non-intrusive load monitoring? Is that anything like artificial grass, honest politicians or forward lateral?
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