I have always wanted to automate my entire home by installing sensors for various things along with controls for the lights and more. Two things make adding home automation a big issue for existing construction though. The first thing is the cost, home automation sensors and controllers are very expensive. The second thing is the actual installation. Depending on how the walls in your home are made it could well be impossible to add all the sensors and wiring to a home.
The Fraunhofer Institute has unveiled a very interesting new sensor for monitoring of windows that opens the doors to all sorts of other sensors for home automation and more uses. The cool thing about the sensor is that it mounts to the handles of the windows rather than the windows themselves. The sensor needs no battery or solar cells to operate. That means that they don’t have to be charged and you don’t have to find a place to stash the solar panel.
The sensors developed by Fraunhofer harvests the power needed to operate directly from the ambient radio waves shooting around a home. The sensor uses the position of the handle to note if the window is open or closed. The sensors can also tell if the windows are unlocked and whether it's tilted out or closed and unlocked. The sensors require a DSL connection for the base station to allow the sensor status to be accessed from a smartphone.