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Wireless window sentinel
Date:9/5/2012

A bad weather front is fast approaching and a cloudburst is imminent. If you happen to be away from home, but have left a window open, either deliberately or because you forgot to check one room, you may be in for a wet surprise when you come home. However, it does not have to be like that: Thanks to a new sensor system, such situations can now be avoided. A sensor embedded in the window frame detects if a window is closed, cracked open or wide open and sends this information to a base station at the main door. When leaving the house, a resident can tell at a glance which windows are open and which closed. Since the system enables remote queries, users can even monitor windows via a smartphone. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, based in Erlangen and Nuremberg, have developed the product in close collaboration with Seuffer, a Calw-based company which has been an IIS industry partner for over a decade.

The intelligent window monitor is based on the IIS-developed HallinOne sensor a 3-D magnetic field sensor that is already being used in mass-produced washing machines, where it determines the exact position of the drum. "We've adapted our technology for the window application. A fingernail-sized sensor embedded in the inner frame detects sash and handle positions by measuring any changes in the angle and position of a magnet that's embedded in the bottom of the sash. When you lock the window, for example, the magnet moves to the right," explains IIS engineer Klaus-Dieter Taschka. "The sensor even detects if a casement window appears to be properly latched, but has actually just been pulled shut. No other system can do this." In addition, the system is tamper-proof and so can help protect against break-ins. The magnet cannot be removed without the sensor detecting its removal.

Wireless communication

Also embedded in the frame is an RF node. Comprising a radio unit and a microcontroller, it uses
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Contact: Dipl.-Ing. Klaus-Dieter Taschka
klaus.taschka@iis.fraunhofer.de
49-913-177-64475
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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