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Wi-Fi sensing: To home and beyond

Wi-Fi sensing: To home and beyond
Previously, we disused Wi-Fi sensing, which caters mostly to home users at this time. Yet its use scenarios can extend beyond the home. This article takes a closer look.
Previously, we disused Wi-Fi sensing, which caters mostly to home users at this time. Yet its use scenarios can extend beyond the home. This article takes a closer look.
Wi-Fi sensing has gained a lot of attention in the market. The technology works by way of detecting changes in Wi-Fi signal patterns. If someone breaks in or falls, the technology can sense it and inform related stakeholders accordingly. This makes Wi-Fi sensing a popular and viable means for intrusion detection and health monitoring, especially for home users.

Outside the home

But that’s not to say Wi-Fi sensing has no use cases outside the home. On the contrary, there are vertical markets that the technology is suitable for. We look at some of them below.

Elderly care

Understandably, Wi-Fi can be ideal for senior homes and retirement communities. With the technology, seniors falling or showing signs of non-movement can be detected and dealt with immediately. Their privacy is also well protected as Wi-Fi sensing does not record video or keep video footage.


Needless to say, school safety has become a pressing issue in the society, and Wi-Fi sensing can come in handy in this area.
“While many schools already have cameras in common areas, there are some places in schools that have been deemed too private for video or audio recording such as locker rooms, private offices, and certain classrooms where cameras are inappropriate and intrusive. Since school safety is an increasingly crucial issue, being able to monitor more than just the common areas of a campus proves extremely valuable with WiFi Sensing technology to give schools a more comprehensive view of campus security,” said Tony Nicolaidis, Chief Commercial Officer at Origin.

Commercial buildings

More and more, automation has become a trend in commercial buildings, where air conditioning, lighting and other systems adjust to the presence of people. In this regard, Wi-Fi sensing can also play a role.
“WiFi Sensing technology can help optimize energy consumption by enabling smart control of heating, cooling, and lighting systems based on the presence and activity of occupants while bringing attention to devices that might be using more energy than anticipated, leading to significant energy savings and lower utility bills,” Nicolaidis said.


Finally, Wi-Fi sensing can also have applications in retail. “Motion flow insights can help guide optimal product placement to improve merchandising and sales. Consumer analytics can help organizations understand their customers and their habits better to provide better service, proactive troubleshooting, and more meaningful marketing campaigns,” said Taj Manku, CEO and Founder of Cognitive Systems.

Benefits to ISPs and end users

As Wi-Fi sensing continues to evolve, its benefits for both Internet service providers (ISPs) and end users are being recognized. As mentioned, Wi-Fi sensing leverages the user’s existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, which is most likely set up by the Internet service provider. In the process, the technology opens up new opportunities for both.
For ISPs, Wi-Fi sensing adds value to a service that they already provide, not to mention additional revenue opportunities. “By adding WiFi Sensing software to their existing or new hardware, ISPs can benefit from an increased revenue source that requires minimal upgrades or added cost on either end,” Nicolaidis said. “In fact, last year, Verizon launched its new Home Awareness feature for select FiOS routers, which utilizes WiFi Sensing technology to detect motion and report activity in the home without the need for any cameras or sensors.”
“Wi-Fi Sensing technology has many benefits for internet service providers. Wi-Fi Sensing serves as an entry point into new markets, such as elder care and home security, leveraging existing infrastructure while offering desired applications to users. It establishes a solid foundation that can be further developed to provide unique and customized solutions,” Manku said. “With the evolving functionality of Wi-Fi Sensing, its scalability as a software-only solution enables its expansion into various service verticals, including enhancing the customer experience and optimizing the performance of home Wi-Fi networks. Ultimately, core improvements will result in increased app engagement as well as revenue benefits both indirectly and directly for the service provider.”
For users, they benefit from a technology that they do not have to change infrastructure/get additional equipment for.
“Wi-Fi Sensing provides users with a comprehensive understanding of home activity, ensuring comfort, convenience, and safety. It offers various benefits such as optimizing energy usage, improving productivity, and enhancing security. Additionally, it can enable task automation like adjusting temperature settings and turning off lights, saving time and effort, and reducing energy consumption. The technology can be used alongside existing security solutions or as a standalone DIY alternative to detect unexpected motion in the home. Further, it can support caregivers by providing confirmation of regular activity for their loved ones. Wi-Fi Sensing is an appealing choice for users seeking insights into home activity without incurring substantial expenses, as it is easy to deploy and use,” Manku said.
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