One sensor to rule them all: Synthetic Sensors


Just came across this today and thought some here might find it interesting to see:

It is about one “uber multisensor device” that can observe a room to detect many different actions and situations based on machine learning about a sort of “fingerprint” that each observation has. Now, flash that thing with a firmware capable to communicate using MQTT, and have AliExpress make it available for <$10 :slight_smile:

But no, this is not available (yet) I think. More info on the Synthetic Sensor can be found on this website

Mega room sensor

That’s a great idea but reliability will, I’m afraid, be far from what this communication video display.

Notice how every object is either loud, or how he stays beside the stove while using it for the sensor to work.

A quieter object wouldn’t be so easy to detect and any relying on thermal imaging need to be in direct line of sight of the sensor.

I think that the concept is quiet interesting and we could imagine using sound recognition simply by using a precise enough microphone plugged on a RaspberryPi.


If they’re reasonably inexpensive (~$50-60), I could see using several of them, mounted to the ceiling in a web throughout the home to provide much better data. One, by itself, would have difficulty tracking much reliably, but a mesh of 4-5 in an open concept floor plan could be really useful.


I also noticed no more than one thing at a time which is a bigger issue… When the blender is running can it detect the faucet is on?

Whole home power monitoring systems like are trying to do stuff like this by monitoring noise, draw and frequencies the main power lines to detect if specific appliances are on, but currently they don’t really work well for anything but the BIG power users like heating devices or motor driven devices.


I guess those are all very valid questions/concerns, but that’s why I love technology; this may not be in our hands dirt cheap next week, but I am very curious to see where this (or other sensing tech) is going to be a few years from now.

I mean, I just found a “radar” sensor unit for about 50 cents that can be hooked up to an esp8266 and do presence detection while completely hidden out of sight.

Another thing is what about actuators? Amazing if it can detect a dripping faucet, but instead of notifying me, please just stop the dripping :slight_smile:

Anyway, I am very curious where this will go…


I cannot thank you, just spent another 3€ to order 5 of those … :sweat_smile:


exactly what I did when I found them. Here’s a video to get some more info on variants of that unit and their capabilities:

it sounds too good to be true, but at that price it can hardly be a disappointment, right…


Yep, just for the knowledge about this detection technology it’s worse trying it.

It might be a little bit early for use in production though:

But we’ll see :slight_smile:


sure, but I love the tinkering. And personally, I don’t mind putting the pi-filter in between and keeping the sensor a few inches away from the esp, since I plan to mount them hidden in a closet for example. We’ll see for sure.


Here an interesting video about the different radar sensor (also the RCWL-0516):


Maybe you wanted to share another video, as this is the same one from my earlier post :slight_smile: ?