How do people use electricity in their homes? What are their patterns? How often do they turn on the heat or the air conditioning?

These are questions that researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder hope to answer following a $2 million grant that will allow them to install a sensor system that uses cameras to detect human presence and activity.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy awarded the grant to the CU Boulder team as part of its Saving Energy Nationwide in Structures with Occupancy Recognition project, which aims to reduce the amount of energy used for heating and cooling residences by 30 percent.

The CU Boulder team calls their project "Battery-Free RFID Sensor Network with Spatiotemporal Pattern Network Based Data Fusion System for Human Presence Sensing." The sensor system will be powered wirelessly to reduce costs.

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