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Event detection in wireless sensor networks is a sophisticated method for processing sampled data directly on the sensor nodes, thereby reducing the need for multihop communication with the base station of the network. In contrast to application-agnostic compression or aggregation techniques, event detection pushes application-level knowledge into the network. In-network event detection - especially the distributed form involving multiple sensor nodes - has thus an exceptional potential to increase energy efficiency, thus prolonging the lifetime of the network. In this article, we summarize recently proposed system architectures and algorithms employed for event detection in wireless sensor networks. On the example of the AVS-Extrem platform, we illustrate how energy-efficient event detection can be implemented through a combination of custom hardware design and distributed event detection algorithms. We then continue to present a brief evaluation of the detection accuracy and the energy consumption that is achievable by current systems.