3D Sensor Technology for the Future Smart Home


Sensors of all kinds are already integrated into our daily lives at home. Measuring fundamentals such as temperature and humidity for example, has attracted great interest in the recent past (e.g. Google’s “Nest”). Also, sensors for alarm systems are an inherent part for many homes.


Due to the new trend of advanced interaction with technology,  3D sensors can be increasingly found in people’s homes. The best example is probably the Microsoft Kinect, which was originally developed for gaming. Other affordable 3D sensors for end consumers include the Leap Motion, which tracks hand and finger movements and the Structure Sensor from Occipital, which can scan objects in 3D with an extension for the iPad.


Apart from these sensors – which 3D sensors will be integrated into the smart home of the future? And what will they be able to do for you?


We picture the ideal situation as follows:

Your home will be equipped with several discreetly installed 3D. These sensors will be able to a) detect motion, b) recognize people and their position (and e.g. distinguish them from animals) and c) be able to realize gesture control.




Those functions will ensure:

  • An elaborated lighting and heating automation (e.g. whenever a person enters a room, the light will switch on automatically – it will not switch on for a dog), which will simultaneously decrease energy consumption and therefore helps you save money
  • Basic alarm systems, which can inform you when a person enters your home, when no one is supposed to be home
  • Recognizing different people due to their size (and other characteristic body features), and adjusting the settings to their preferences (e.g. preferred lighting and heating situation, favorite TV channel)
  • Gesture control to operate various electronics inside your home, e.g. your TV, hi-fi system, coffee machine, electronic shutters, dimmable lights
  • Analysis of how you spend your time (e.g. how much time do you spend in front of the TV or in the kitchen vs. working out)
  • Assisted living, i.e. surveillance of elderly people so that they can live independently but are not alone in case they need support, e.g. when they fall down
  • Monitoring babies and children, e.g. at night or when they approach the pool or other danger zones alone

Further, 3D sensors can also be built into robots to facilitate your everyday life:

  • Advanced vacuum cleaner that cleans your floor efficiently
  • Human-like robots that could act as your personal butler


Which other desirable features can you imagine to implement using 3D sensors in your smart home of the future?


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