Top Innovators: University of Washington/Zensi

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Shwetak PatelYou probably don’t know it yet, but each appliance in your home sings its own particular song. Recognizing that song could help households cut their energy consumption. Shwetak Patel and his students at the University of Washington have developed intelligent in-home sensors that are able to differentiate between different appliances drawing gas through a line by using acoustic recognition to identify each appliance’s “song.”

The sensors are available in three different models: HydroSense, GasSense and Powerline Event Detection (PED). Each sensor performs the same task, albeit in a slightly different way. HyrdoSense relies on the different pressures, GasSense uses acoustics and PED analyzes spikes from electrical switches flipped inside mechanical devices.

Using such devices, customers can see what appliances are using energy and take measures to reduce their use or to unplug appliances that consume energy when not in use. The technology can also help utilities create incentives for consumers to restrict the use of energy-hungry appliances to off-peak periods.

Energy monitors were previously a luxury available only to large companies. In April, Los Angeles-based Belkin acquired Patel’s startup, Zensi, and will soon bring energy monitors that use Zensi’s technology to market, allowing homeowners to identify specific sources of wasted energy.

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Microsoft Buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion

Microsoft Buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion

Nadella calls it a marriage of 'leading professional cloud' and 'leading professional network.'
 
 

Microsoft on Monday announced that it is buying LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash. Microsoft says LinkedIn "will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence." Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year. 

Here is Microsoft's announcment of the agreement, and here is Nadella's email to Microsoft employees, in which he describers the acquisition as bringing together "the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network."