ElectriSense: Single-point Sensing Using EMI for Electrical Event Detection and Classification in the Home

Sidhant Gupta, Matthew S. Reynolds, Shwetak Patel


This paper presents ElectriSense, a new solution for automatically detecting and classifying the use of electronic devices in a home from a single point of sensing. ElectriSense relies on the fact that most modern consumer electronics and fluorescent lighting employ switch mode power supplies (SMPS) to achieve high efficiency. These power supplies continuously generate high frequency electromagnetic interference (EMI) during operation that propagates throughout a home's power wiring. We show both analytically and by in-home experimentation that EMI signals are stable and predictable based on the device's switching frequency characteristics. Unlike past transient noise-based solutions, this new approach provides the ability for EMI signatures to be applicable across homes while still being able to differentiate between similar devices in a home. We have evaluated our solution in seven homes, including one six-month deployment. Our results show that ElectriSense can identify and classify the usage of individual devices with a mean accuracy of 93.82%.