/The era of talking homes has arrived

The era of talking homes has arrived

Dr Wen Hu, Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering at the UNSW School of Computer Science and Engineering, inspecting emergency Fire Exit signs which has been configured with IoT (Internet of Things) communications capabilities developed at UNSW, at an apartment complex in Castle Hill., along with technicians from WBS. Photography by Quentin Jones. 21 November 2018.

Dr Wen Hu. Picture: Quentin Jones.

An Australian company, using a wireless solution developed by UNSW, is rolling out technology across the country that allows buildings to monitor themselves and report problems autonomously — and even talk to your smartphone.

Known as EMIoT, the new wireless platform relies on LED exit signs as the backbone of a low-power meshed network that covers 99.9 per cent of a building — even reaching underground carparks, pump systems and airconditioning.

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And WBS Technology, which is commercialising the technology, has installed it in more than 10 apartment complexes — the latest being at Castle Hill in the northwest of Sydney.

“All you need is to install the emergency lights, and they all automatically connect to each other, and that creates the network,” Dr Wen Hu of UNSW’s School of Computer Science and Engineering said.

“The emergency lights can then be networked with other devices via various wireless technologies, including Bluetooth, which allows them to be controlled locally with a smartphone or via the internet from anywhere in the world.”