Faculty & Research

Joshua Smith

Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering

Joshua Smith

  • Ph.D. Media Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1999
  • M.A. Physics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge 1997
  • B.A. Magna Cum Laude, Computer Science and Philosophy, Williams College 1991

Joshua Smith joins Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering in the winter of 2011 from Intel Research Seattle, where he was a principal investigator. He has recently served as an affiliate assistant professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering here at UW.

Dr. Smith's research interest is in the area of sensor systems: inventing new sensor systems, devising new ways to power them, and developing algorithms for using them. The research has application in the domains of ubiquitous computing, robotics, and human-computer interaction (HCI). He is currently working on 3 projects: novel sensors for robotic manipulation, resonant (non-radiative) wireless power transfer, and (radiative) wirelessly powered UHF-RFID-compatible sensing platforms.

He is the principal investigator of Intel's WREL (Wireless Resonant Energy Link) project, which aims to transfer tens of watts wirelessly. He also leads a project called WISP (Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform). WISP is a battery-free platform for sensing and computation. It consists of a fully-programmable, 16-bit microcontroller that is powered wirelessly by radio waves: it harvests all the energy it needs from a standards-compliant UHF RFID reader. It also receives data from and sends data to the RFID reader.

Dr. Smith received the Best Paper Award for "A Capacitive Touch Interface for Passive RFID Tags" (IEEE RFID 2009), was named a Motorola Fellow at the MIT Media Laboratory 1995–1997, and was named the Herchel Smith Scholar at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge 1991–1993. He has received numerous awards at Intel Corp.