WiFi Sensing: What Is It, and How Can It Improve Your Everyday Life?

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

In today’s connected world, the internet is a dominant presence in our lives. With internet of things (IoT) and smart devices, the continued rise in entertainment streaming, and gaming—let alone the current work/learn from home arrangements for many—we’re spending more time than ever on WiFi and connected devices. In fact, a 2019 study from Deloitte found that U.S. households have an average of 11 connected devices. Within these devices are wireless radios, which send and receive information from a central access point.

While you may be familiar with using WiFi for your smart devices, did you know WiFi signals can be used for Home Security and Health Monitoring?

How It Works

WiFi signals in your home function similarly to waves in a pool – as you move around the pool, waves bounce, break and bend around objects. In homes, these waves bounce, break and bend around walls, ceilings, and people. When paired with AI capabilities such as machine learning (ML), WiFi waves can be harnessed to sense these obstructions and interpret movement. This is called WiFi Sensing.

WiFi Sensing builds on the devices already used in wireless networks to detect environmental changes in your home.

When you cross the communication path of a wireless router and your child’s gaming console, for example, an agent running on the router can sense the disruption and, using these waves, determine your location, size, etc., much like a radar. With use cases in motion/presence detection, security, home automation, and elder care, WiFi Sensing is quickly becoming a less intrusive option for home security, monitoring loved ones, and more.

WiFi Sensing for Home Security

For home security, consumers who opt for a WiFi Sensing security system no longer need to worry about false alarms that often go hand in hand with traditional home security technologies. Using AI technology and devices with digitally adjustable sensitivity levels, users can filter out pet activity, people and even minor motions like a fan blowing a curtain to reduce triggering false alarms.

These solutions, such as Hex Home, create a sensing bubble that covers the area between and around them in your home. Unlike current systems that use PIRs and can only see objects directly in front of them, WiFi Sensing is non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and is capable of wrapping around corners, seeing through walls, and stretching or shrinking based on device placement. These sensing bubbles are easy to expand by adding additional devices to your home, filling it with more waves to increase your total area of coverage.

Applying the advanced signal processing techniques built into these devices to standard WiFi protocols from modems or routers in your home enables these systems to derive meaningful ambient insights and unobtrusively protect your home. Unlike analog security systems, WiFi Sensing security systems can cover more square footage with fewer blind spots. When paired with a mobile app, WiFi Sensing systems are also easy to deploy, build upon or modify as needed, and conveniently incorporate into your routine.

WiFi Sensing for Elder Care

Applying AI to WiFi Sensing enables analysis of the motion data gathered by the devices placed around a home. Sensitive enough to recognize abrupt changes and initiate the appropriate chain of responses, WiFi Sensing is an incredibly efficient tool for elder care. Because of its inconspicuous nature, WiFi Sensing home monitoring empowers seniors to remain independent and can sense when a person abruptly shifts from standing to laying on the floor and can trigger an alert to local caregivers or family members. Even granular changes in a person’s activity, like breathing and sleeping, can be derived from the data produced by these devices and alert caregivers of irregularities.

One of the most competitive advantages of using WiFi Sensing in elder care is its elimination of wearables, such as fall pendants and watches, which often have a low adherence rate. Eventually, we anticipate these detection capabilities will be able to differentiate between a trip-and-fall scenario and a fall resulting from the onset of a heart attack.

To learn more about the applications of WiFi Sensing for Home and Health, be sure to check back in for our next blog!

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