16:42 10 May 2017
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new technology that can simplify how you control devices using your smartphone. Instead of going through a hundreds of apps for all your random Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets, you can simply hold your phone up to a device to launch controls.
All electronic devices give off electromagnetic emissions, so the team of researchers outfitted a 2015 Moto G phone with an EM sensor dongle that can pick up these emissions. Their software recognises EM signatures and uses them to bring up controls for the device, eliminating the need to look for an app.
During testing, the phone was able to launch manufacturers’ own apps or something the team developed called “charms”. In one case, the researchers created a charm for a printer so that whenever the phone detected the device, a button to print appears on the screen. The researchers then show how the device can also be used to control a TV, router, thermostat, projector and refrigerator.
The system was 98per cent accurate but researchers have encountered some issues. One is caused by the fact that the same devices release extremely similar EMs. This means that the HUE light in your bedroom will emit basically the same signature as the one in your living room. Such issues are being addressed and researchers say that they could rely on a phone’s GPS when devising work-arounds.