Energy Usage with Sick Kids or How Data from our lives can point to events

This is a little random, and off of the usual topic, but it is nerd stuff, so I’m posting it here.

Our electric company recently installed a “smart” meter that allows us to see our energy usage in fifteen minute increments on their web site. I find this fascinating and fun in itself. However, I also find the way it reveals daily life interesting.
Last night our youngest woke us up in the middle of the night when she threw up. We had to get up, turn on lights, and use the vacuum cleaner (“shop vac”) to clean up.

Can you tell when this happened?
Energy Usage with Sick Kids
Most nights the energy usage is nearly flat during our entire night’s sleep. Obviously this shows our sleep patterns. Now add a “blip” on any night, and suddenly you can tell when something happened in our house. You can just imagine how data like this from thousands and millions of homes could show patterns of illness, and surely other events, around the country!

I’m sure this makes some people afraid of “big brother” watching them, but it only fascinates me. 🙂

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He's just this guy, you know? Chris aka ChrisL8 aka the Hoopy Frood aka the Ekpyrotic Frood is a full time Unix Admin who likes to play with everything technology on the side. I mostly build robots here, but I also dabble in web development.

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