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The Development of Home Environment Sensor Networks

Jeremy Jaech (SNUPI Technologies)
Location: Fleet Room
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SNUPI (Sensor Network Utilizing Powerline Infrastructure) is an ultra-low-power wireless sensor network platform that leverages the power line infrastructure of the building and uses it as part of a communications channel. In a traditional wireless sensor network, data is communicated over the air between the sensor nodes and a base station (perhaps after making several hops between the nodes). Using this over-the-air wireless communication, the battery life is typically limited by the high transmit power required for wireless signals to reach the receiver. In contrast, SNUPI uses a powerline-coupled wireless channel rather than an over-the-air channel. In a SNUPI network, the base station receiver is plugged into the power line, and uses the entire power line network as its receiving antenna. Therefore, to communicate data to the base station, sensor nodes can wirelessly transmit at extremely low power and couple their signals onto the nearest power line, The signals then travel through the power line infrastructure to the base station receiver. Since the transmit power is so low, SNUPI nodes can operate for decades on a single coin cell battery. In addition, these networks have whole-building range because the power lines reach to all locations within the building.

The SNUPI wireless sensor network is currently being commercialized by SNUPI Technologies in Seattle, WA. The first product, WallyHome <>, consists of many sensors that are distributed around the house to continuously monitor for water leaks and measure temperature and humidity in order to alert customers of leaks and potential conditions for mold within their homes. In the future, we will continue to produce more easy-to-install sensor products using the SNUPI platform that are geared toward smart-home applications, including home safety, security, and automation.

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Jeremy Jaech

SNUPI Technologies

Jeremy Jaech has led market-creating companies since 1983, including Aldus, Visio, Trumba, Verdiem, and SNUPI Technologies. He was co-founder and technical leader for Aldus, the creator of PageMaker. At Visio, he co-founded and served as President and CEO from 1990 until its acquisition by Microsoft Corporation in 2000. Currently, Jeremy serves as CEO of SNUPI Technologies, an early-stage company developing sensor networks for the home. Jeremy serves on the Board of Directors for Mindjet, Control4, and SNUPI. He holds a M.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Washington, and is a Regent for the University of Washington.