Thermal Imaging for Smart Homes –

January 19, 2022 by No Comments

Article By : Hasan Gadjali and Dr. Markov Stanislav Nikolaev, Meridian Innovation Ltd

Thermal imaging sensors are posed to augment the functionality and value of many products in our homes.

There are many home appliances and devices that promise to make your home safer and more comfortable, and to save you time or make your life easier. They automate several trivial tasks or make the controls of such devices available at your fingertips through connectivity to your mobile phone.

This functionality is enabled by a plethora of digital sensors, measuring anything from air temperature and humidity, through light conditions, to gas sensors and motion detectors. From the perspective of the information that such sensors provide, they have one thing in common—they are point-wise and lack spatial resolution.

For example, a conventional temperature or a light sensor would report the temperature or the light intensity only at the point of installation in a room. No awareness of the people in the room, nor their actions, nor their level of comfort can be inferred from such sensors.

In contrast, visual imaging sensors have very fine spatial resolution delivered by the millions of detectors integrated in the sensor. In that way, they generate rich unstructured information, upon which visual image analytics are applied to obtain structured information (for example, are there people in front of the doorbell, how many people, who they are, etc.).

The application of visual image sensors in smart robots and home security system is already very broad. Meanwhile, the evolution of technology is bringing other multipixel sensors to the arena of home automation and smart homes. Thermal imaging sensors are the prime candidate, with the prospect of helping in preventing fire hazards in the kitchen, helping your cooking, privacy-preserving human occupancy monitoring, measuring our comfort level and enhancing the well-being awareness around the elderly and babies. Below, we look at a few specific cases.

Your safer and smarter kitchen

Why thermal imaging in the kitchen? The short answer: for safety, health, and convenience. Indeed, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NPFA) of the United States, cooking is the leading cause of domestic fires, and the reason of 49% of such fires. And it is not that all the affected households had a malfunctioning smoke detector, but rather, by the time the smoke was detected, it was too late to eliminate the conditions leading to the fire. Thermal imaging can provide a clear way to minimizing such costly and devastating accidents, by identifying elevated temperatures that may lead to fire long before the hazard conditions set in.

A natural way of providing thermal imaging in the kitchen is by integrating the sensor within the extractor hood to realize a cooktop monitor. This is shown in Figure 1—the world’s first intelligent cooking assistant product (the copper-colored device mount right under the extractor hood). From there, the thermal imager can continuously ‘see’ the temperature distribution on the entire cooktop or stove.

Many culinary ingredients are sensitive to the temperature at which they are processed. Overheating them may not only deplete their nutritious value, but even turn them into less than friendly compounds for our bodies. A thermal imager above the cooktop can ‘read’ their temperature continuously and indicate it to us, aiding us to produce healthier meals.

“This leads us to the concept of a culinary assistant, helping you to create healthy and …….



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