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Forget a smart speaker, soon you may be able to control your smart home with a few taps on your wall. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research have developed a way to make your walls smart, at a cost of $20 per meter, as spotted by NBC News.


Dubbed Wall++, the researchers found that they could use conductive paint and a custom sensor board to create electrodes and turn a standard wall into a gesture-sensing touchpad and an “electromagnetic sensor to detect and track electrical devices and appliances.”

The system could potentially monitor activity in rooms, automatically adjust light levels when a TV is turned on or off, or send an alert when an appliance goes off. The Wall++ could also track people wearing certain electronic devices that emit an electromagnetic signature.

This isn’t the first time Carnegie Mellon researchers have found a way to turn an analog surface into a touchpad. Last year, researchers at the university announced a system called Electrick that let you spray conductive paint onto smooth surfaces to enable touch controls.

There’s still work to do, the Wall++ hasn’t been optimized for energy consumption, and there will likely need to be an easier way to install it other than putting a sensor board on your baseboard, but the general functionality seems to be sound. Get ready to stop yelling at Alexa and start smacking your wall.

“Users can control lighting or music play by double-tapping on walls or through swipe gestures,” Yang Zhang, a Ph.D. student in the university’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute and a member of the research team who conducted the experiments, told NBC News MACH in an email. “Similarly, users can also touch these walls to send commands to smart appliances such as TVs, Google Home, and Amazon Echo.”

Opinions of techiesms :

Another smart step in controlling your home, but this time through wall. We all know about smart phones, voice control and sensor switches that are used to automate home. I think this is very innovative but there are certain drawbacks and limitations.


What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments section below.

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