Much of what’s exciting about IoT technology has to do with getting data from a huge variety of sources into one place so it can be mined for insight, but sensors used to gather that data are frequently legacy devices from the early days of industrial automation or cheap, lightweight, SoC-based gadgets without a lot of sophistication of their own.

Researchers at MIT have devised a system that can gather a certain slice of data from unsophisticated devices that are grouped on the same electrical circuit without adding sensors to each device.

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The technology’s called non-intrusive load monitoring, and sits directly on a given building's, vehicle's or other piece of infrastructure’s electrical circuits, identifies devices based on their power usage, and sends alerts when there are irregularities.

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