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Stanford University Networking Seminar


Shyam Gollakota (University of Washington)
Computers without Batteries and Sensing without Sensors

12:15pm, Thursday, February 26 2015
Gates 104

*** In accordance with the speaker's wishes, this talk will NOT be recorded. ***

About the Talk

This talk presents a new communication primitive called ambient backscatter that enables battery-free devices to communicate with each other without generating radio signals. Using this primitive, I will demonstrate battery-free credit cards that can transfer money between each other using just a finger swipe. I will also outline some of our more recent efforts that for the first time power battery-free temperature sensors, cameras and recharge Jawbone devices using Wi-Fi packet transmissions.

In the second part of the talk, I will present a novel gesture recognition system that leverages wireless signals to enable whole-home sensing and recognition of human gestures. Since wireless signals do not require line-of-sight, our approach enables new forms of human-computer interaction that go beyond traditional sensors such as cameras. I will then talk about our recent research on diagnosing sleep apnea using mobile phones without requiring any sensors on the human body. Our system works with the mobile phone placed within a meter from the subject and diagnoses hypopnea, central apnea and obstructive apnea with accuracies close to existing clinical polysomnography, which requires more than thirty sensors on the human body.

About the Speaker

Shyam Gollakota is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where he directs the Networks and Mobile Systems lab and conducts research on wireless networks, human-computer interaction and mobile health. His group’s work has appeared in venues like BBC, Washington Post, NY Times, Forbes, and Wired. His research papers have received awards at the premier venues in networking and mobile computing (ACM SIGCOMM 2008, 2011, 2013 and Mobicom 2013). Other awards include MIT Technology Review's TR35 (2014) and Forbes 30 under 30 (2015). Shyam holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT and his thesis on embracing interference in wireless systems was awarded the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award (2012).