IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

What comes after the Internet of Things?

Answer: The Internet of Ears.

Many people have already expressed concern that their Internet of Things devices like smart speakers are listening in on their daily lives. Right now the connected devices aren’t supposed to, although two scientists want them to eventually do just that.

Ming-Chun Huang and Soumyajit Mandal call their project the “Internet of Ears.” The Case Western Reserve University scientists have been working on developing sensors that can be placed in building walls to “listen” to the occupants inside.

The sensors don’t listen for audio, though — their job is to detect vibrations and changes in the normal electrical field. When humans or pets move, they cause vibrations and disrupt the ambient electrical field in the space around them. They may even one day be able to determine who specifically is moving around, leading to a new way to identify intruders.

Kate is a senior copy editor in Northern California. She holds a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in professional writing from the University of California, Davis.
Special Projects
Sponsored Articles
  • Sponsored
    Smart cities could transform urban living for the better. However, in order to mitigate the risks of cyber threats that can be exacerbated by inadequately secured and mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies, government officials should be aware of smart cities security concerns associated with their supporting infrastructure.
  • Sponsored
    How the convergence of security and networking is accelerating government agencies journey to the cloud.
  • Sponsored
    Microsoft Teams quickly became the business application of choice as state and local governments raced to equip remote teams and maintain business continuity during the COVID-19 lockdown. But in the rush to deploy Teams, many organizations overlook, ignore or fail to anticipate some of the administrative hurdles to successful adoption. As more organizations have matured their use of Teams, a set of lessons learned has emerged to help agencies ensure a successful Teams rollout – or correct course on existing implementations.
  • Sponsored
    Five Key Criteria for Selecting the Right Technology Solution for Communications and Notifications