Automated home applications are to ease the use of technology and devices around the house. Most of the electronic devices, like shutters or entertainment products (Hifi, TV and even WiFi), are constantly in a standby mode, where they consume a considerable amount of energy. The standby mode is necessary to react to commands triggered by the user, but the time the device spends in a standby mode is considered long. In our work, we present a receiver that is attached to home appliances that allows the devices to be activated while they are completely turned off in order to reduce the energy consumed in the standby mode. The receiver contains a low power wake-up module that reacts to an addressable acoustic 20-kHz sound signal that controls home devices that are connected to it. The acoustic wake-up signal can be sent by any kind of speaker that is available in commercial smartphones. The smartphones will operate as transmitters to the signals. Our wake-up receiver consists of two parts: a low power passive circuit connected to a wake-up chip microcontroller and an active micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) microphone that receives the acoustic signal. A duty cycle is required to reduce the power consumption of the receiver, because the signal reception occurs when the microphone is active. The current consumption was measured to be 15 μA in sleep mode and 140 μA in active mode. An average wake-up range of 10 m using a smartphone as a sender was achieved.
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