RT-PMP Binary Babies


I’ve been pondering the oddity of certain lightbulb switching related to Sense detection, specifically the Philips WIZ above my head.

It uses rapid human-initiated switching to change modes.

Switch ON/OFF rapidly enough and the bulb will change from a cool color temperature to warm and back.

The bulb is also directly controllable through WiFi but I’m trying to be as non-smart as possible at home so the networked aspects are never exploited (dimming!). Admittedly, I don’t even bother with the mode switching (warm forever).

Meanwhile a few bulbs have been migrated to those with integrated motion detection. I’ve had to experiment with different bulbs because they all have different hardware-locked ON cycles and limited motion sensitivity. Generally too sensitive. All less ideal than a separate motion sensor but much easier to retrofit in a closet with no light switch.

Anyway, in general now the bulb ONs & OFFs present different signatures to Sense. No more (or less) detectable I suppose on the 1/2s timescale or by more sophisticated means but in the case of the rapid ON/OFF switching to change modes there is, as it were, a little Morse evolving in my wires.

“Sense, can you hear me?”

Neighbors?: Have they seen Panic Room?

The motion detection bulb’s long ON cycles preclude easy communication with Sense by doing a Motion Detection Dance BUT surely Sense’s 20-dimensional brain will eventually work out this bulb has a 1 minute on cycle and that bulb has a 10 minute cycle?

And so enough of the idle rhetoric and to my core pondering …


Are not devices in general becoming sophisticated enough, incorporating cheap nano-scale electronic control circuitry, that two options present themselves:

  1. A standard evolves by which a device innately broadcasts, down it’s power feed, it’s power state.

    I’m DeviceUPScodeXgenY going ON.

    I’m going OFF. “I’m OFF” reminds me of Bruno Munari

    I’m using X watts (this is tricky I believe).

    I’m changing power state, “Hey Sense how much did I just ask for?” That could be a challenge.

  2. Sense develops a cute inline plug. Specifically NOT like Kasa/Wemo in that it does not communicate via WiFi and not even via PowerLine Ethernet but that it exploits Sense’s higher frequency current/phase/voltage-variation over-sampling (as it were) ability and COMMUNICATES via BEHAVIOR. Inject some COMMS.

My strong preference would be #1. This is more like RT-PMP.
And note, this may sound like I’m simply suggesting that RT-PMP extends to the “local” (household) level for ALL devices vs just the power-hungry ones that can afford to have control circuitry and be controlled by an external agent. It’s not that simple: RT-PMP can actually live separately from device signature identification and power tracking.
“It’s an EV, it wants a lot of power, not now”
In theory it doesn’t even need it. In practice, I believe, RT-PMP and disaggregation would both benefit from low-level device communications, regardless of the device.

#2, Sense Babies, violates the simplicity rule. Perhaps.


There should be a few more notes here but I will just point out that HSPLC (High Speed Powerline Communications) are more complicated in the U.S. due to the power distribution method vs. Europe. That’s an indication of the non-trivial nature of these musings.

For more details, check this NSA “Cryptographic Quarterly” from 2001.

“Sweden has used its electric power grid for telephone communications for many years.”

Just another blackout-gossip enabler?