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News Publication

New SPLICE Paper on Detecting Electronic Devices in Homes Using Harmonic Radar Technology

Phones, cameras, internet websites, and other devices constantly collect user data. The advent of so-called ‘Smart Things’ enables increasingly sensitive data to be collected inside the most private of spaces: the home. The first step in helping users regain control of their information that is collected inside their home is to alert them to the presence of potentially unwanted electronics.

In this paper, we present a system that could help homeowners (or home dwellers) find electronic devices in their living space. Specifically, we demonstrate the use of harmonic radars, sometimes called nonlinear junction detectors, which have also been used in applications ranging from explosives detection to insect tracking.

We adapt this radar technology to detect consumer electronics in a home setting and show that we can indeed accurately detect the presence of even ‘simple’ electronic devices like a smart lightbulb. We evaluate the performance of our radar in both wired and over-the-air transmission scenarios. Table 2 (below) presents the output of the experiments in the wireless testbed. We tested a set of 16 distinct devices (or objects) and showed that the electronic devices were detectable at distances ranging from 15 cm to 1 meter at different power levels. 

To read more, check out the full paper here. To see other SPLICE publications, check out our Zotero page here.

Beatrice Perez, Gregory Mazzaro, Timothy J. Pierson, and David Kotz. Detecting the Presence of Electronic Devices in Smart Homes Using Harmonic Radar TechnologyRemote Sens. 2022, 14, 327. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14020327

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News Video

David Kotz speaks on Smart Devices

Did you receive a smart device this holiday season, and leave it sitting in the box because you don’t know how to set it up? Or were you one of those savvy shoppers who bought a smart device on clearance after the holiday rush and already have the perfect place to put it in your home?

Either way, SPLICE PI David Kotz has some advice for keeping your information secure and private when using smart devices. Check it what he has to say in the video!