BENTON HARBOR — OK, so it’s not a spy microwave. But Whirlpool Corp. has announced the introduction of a French door refrigerator from Jenn-Air featuring WiFi connectivity.
ROYAL OAK — Powerley, the utility-led smart home technology pioneer, today introduced the next generation of its platform at DistribuTech, the power transmission and distribution conference being held this week in San Diego, Calif.
Initially launched in 2015, Powerley says its new platform is the first and only smart home solution to provide real-time energy usage data while offering the full functionality of an automated home in one interface.
HOUGHTON — Imagine the smart home of the future. Thanks to a central controller and wi-fi, not only does the thermostat power up and warm or cool the house as you are heading home. Smart light bulbs come on low at dusk and brighten up as the sky gets darker;your washing machine starts a load of clothes when the electricity is cheapest; your smart refrigerator thaws the roast in one section, while another keeps your cheese ready to slice and yet another chills your beer. The doors lock automatically behind you and unlock as you approach — but stay locked for anyone else. A two-way nannycam lets you keep an eye on the kids while a sprinkler waters your lawn when water demand is lowest.
But what if a hacker gained access to your central controller? Your roast is frozen, your milk is sour, and the heat has been on full blast all day when you finally break into your house through a window because your front door won’t unlock. The washing machine and dishwasher have been running at peak prices for electricity, and the kids have torn their room apart while it looked like they were peacefully napping.
In fact, if the hacker got to every smart home in the neighborhood, utility bills would shoot up and brownouts, if not blackouts would be imminent.
It’s a cybersecurity nightmare. And it’s exactly what Shiyan Hu is working to prevent.