Shwetak Patel

Shwetak Patel wants to help you conserve energy in your home.

A professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington, Patel is also a 2011 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the "Genius Grant") for his work developing sophisticated, user-friendly energy sensors for homes and offices.

Patel’s unique technology uses advanced algorithms to determine how much energy each household device is consuming by picking up their individual activity patterns. By simply installing a few wireless sensors, residents can tell which of their appliances is using the most energy and to monitor water and electricity consumption throughout the day.

In addition to saving the earth and your wallet, Patel imagines other applications for his sensors, like monitoring human motion in a building to improve home security and elder care.

Image courtesy of The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation