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On systems generating context triggers through energy harvesting

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4 Author(s)
Rao, V. ; Fac. of Electr. Eng., Math. & Comput. Sci., Delft Univ. of Technol., Delft, Netherlands ; Nambi, S.N.A.U. ; Prasad, R.V. ; Niemegeers, I.

Context awareness is one of the building blocks of smart applications that constitutes smart spaces. With the emergence of cyber physical systems, it is now possible to create spaces that are truly adaptable and smart. In these spaces, contextual parameters are captured by many wireless sensor nodes. This collected data is processed to understand the context in real time. Since a large number of sensors are deployed, processing all the data is a big task. Moreover, since the sensors are powered by batteries, they have a limited lifetime. Sensing only when there is a context event can save energy as well as reduce data processing. To make sensor nodes operate perpetually, ambient energy harvesters can be used. Typically, the energy harvesting source of a sensor is related to the physical parameters the sensor is measuring. We propose exploiting this property to develop a context-event triggering mechanism in this article. We also adapt the context-aware application framework for incorporating context-event triggers by harvesters. A Smart-M3-based architecture is also proposed. Through a real-world use case, we illustrate significant energy savings and reduced data processing in our proposed approach.

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 6 )