Wi-Fi can be used for more than just transmitting and receiving radio waves for device communication. Wi-Fi Sensing repurposes existing Wi-Fi signals to detect motion. This ground-breaking technology operates similar to a radar system, gathering and interpreting environmental dynamics to enable new Wi-Fi services.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is proud to introduce the first industry white paper on the topic of Wi-Fi Sensing. Led by Cognitive Systems, Intel and C-DOT (Centre for Development of Telematics), this paper is the result of a year-long collaboration between some of the world’s leading Wi-Fi technology developers and service providers.

The paper explores some of the possible Wi-Fi Sensing applications, for example, motion detection, gesture recognition, and biometric measurement.  An analysis of the existing Wi-Fi standards outlines gaps, opening areas for new potential enhancements. Potential business opportunities within the home security, health care, enterprise, and building automation/management markets are also identified.

Described in great detail are the required building blocks necessary to create a Wi-Fi Sensing system.  Organized in a way similar to other low-level Wi-Fi applications such as hostapd or wpa_supplicant, the system architecture builds upon existing infrastructure and outlines basic requirements that can be added through software upgrades.  By discussing roles and participation in a sensing network, the technology is positioned to be fully backwards compatible with previous generations of Wi-Fi, enabling the most basic applications with existing hardware already deployed in the field.

To further develop the technology and enable some of the more advanced applications, the team aims to coordinate and work with other industry groups such as IEEE, Wi-Fi Alliance, and the open-source software community to place Wi-Fi Sensing on the development roadmap.  In the short term, the group is in the process or exploring a trial phase, where the current state of the technology can be evaluated and tested by interested members.

Download the white paper now.

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