Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Monash uni develops breakthrough disc for smart home security

Image Credits: Monash University, Press Release

Researchers at Monash University and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have spent the better part of two years working on a solution for human-machine interfaces to control home systems and appliances in response to the rapid growth in smart home technology.

The research team has developed a solar-powered disc that can handle eight smart home devices, such as TVs, radios, and music players, using Bluetooth.

Their device, activated by the swipe of a finger, can also protect home and business owners against would-be thieves through a six-digit blind password authentication system. There are more than 262,000 password combinations based on this configuration.

And weighing just 47 grams, the compact size of the device enables it to be attached to walls, windows, tables and desks for wirelessly controlling applications.

It is also completely self-powered. The solar cell can harvest energy from natural and artificial light sources, such as sunlight, downlights, or table lamps. The energy is then stored in a rechargeable battery to power the electronic circuit.

“Smart home technology has been extensively developed and is capturing more attention from researchers. However, digital devices used for smart home connectivity have little or no built-in security, which makes them vulnerable to cyber-attack,” Associate Professor, lead researcher in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University, said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our work and home lives forever. A user-friendly interface system to control our home systems and appliances, and to keep our homes secure, has never been more critical.

“The technology can also be useful to secure abandoned offices and work stations by enabling an extra layer of security because of this pandemic.”

The key to the device’s success is its ‘sliding’ triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG)-based control interface, which generates 3-bit binary-reflected Gray-code. This is developed by integrating copper electrodes, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) film, a photovoltaic cell, and electronic signal processing circuits.

The Gray-code houses eight unique sensing patterns with each pattern used to control one individual smart device. To switch on an appliance, users move their finger across a sensing pattern in one direction. Users perform the same motion in the opposite direction to switch off the same appliance.

Assuming the device operates every 20 minutes, and each operation takes 10 seconds to perform, the average power consumption of the device is about 0.5mW – less than a standard doorbell.

The system can wake from its sleep mode by tapping on the sensor. It can also store this kinetic energy for future use.

This TENG-based device can be an excellent replacement for traditional mechanical switches and traditional home or office security measures.

The TENG-based control disc exhibits exceptional advantages over mechanical and current digital switches, such as being self-powered, portable, multifunctional, reliable, and high scalability and safe.

Compared with standard numeric keypads, the TENG device has no obvious digits on the interface. Therefore, it is difficult for another person to see the password you have entered.

A good example is, for instance, when using ATM or shopping keypads, digits can be copied from observation or by using a camera. From our proposed sliding based disc concept, it will be very difficult to identify the codes as the ‘numbers’ are hidden within the disc.

Up to 50 billion internet-connected devices are expected to be in use across the world by the end of 2020, with this figure anticipated to reach 100 billion by 2030.  Developing such secure devices to connect and control our daily electronics devices will enable smarter and safer living environments and processes.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.