The 48th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, 2015

The Human Intranet – Where Swarms and Humans Meet


    Prof. Jan Rabaey
    Donald O. Pederson Distinguished Professor, UC Berkeley


Some of most compelling application domains of the IoT and Swarm concepts relate to how humans interact with the world around it and the cyberworld beyond. While the proliferation of communication and data processing devices has profoundly altered our interaction patterns, little has been changed in the way we process inputs (sensory) and outputs (actuation). The combination of IoT (Swarms) and wearable devices offers the potential for changing all of this. Yet, realizing full potential requires that a number of barriers are overcome, most notably the non-scalable nature of the current deployments.

The Human Intranet proposes an open scalable platform that seamlessly integrates an ever-increasing number of sensor, actuation, computation, storage, communication and energy nodes located on, in, or around the human body acting in symbiosis with the functions provided by the body itself. The traditional set of senses and interactions is to be augmented by a set of new capabilities, some of which might be hard to even imagine today. .

This presentation explores the opportunities and challenges in realizing the Human Intranet, and illustrates these with some actual examples from the domain of brain-machine interfaces. Special attention will be paid to the computational needs posed by the Intranet, and a discussion of how they could be addressed.

About the speaker:

Prof. Jan Rabaey is the founding director of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center and the Ubiquitous Swarm Lab. He has been on the forefront of many groundbreaking innovations in low-energy design, and is currently exploring the interaction between information technology and neuroscience.

Biography – Jan M. Rabaey 

Jan Rabaey received his Ph.D degree in applied sciences from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. In 1987, he joined the faculty of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department of the University of California, Berkeley, where he now holds the Donald O. Pederson Distinguished Professorship. He is currently the scientific co-director of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC), as well as the founding director of the Berkeley Ubiquitous SwarmLab.

Prof. Rabaey has made high-impact contributions to a number of fields, including advanced wireless systems, sensor networks, configurable ICs and low-power design. His current interests include the conception and implementation of next-generation integrated wireless systems over a very broad range of applications, as well as exploring the interaction between the cyber and the biological world.

He is the recipient of a wide range of major awards, amongst which the IEEE CAS Society Mac Van Valkenburg Award, the European Design Automation Association (EDAA) Lifetime Achievement award, and the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) University Researcher Award. He is an IEEE Fellow and a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium, and has been involved in a broad variety of start-up ventures.