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Wi-Fi will soon be able to do a whole lot more than connect you to the internet

connected cars on highway
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Your Wi-Fi device could soon become a sensor that’s capable of collecting all kinds of useful information, a new project has said.

The 802.11bf Task Group (TGbf) is working to leverage the ubiquitous nature of Wi-Fi to extend its use from a communications-only standard to give it enhanced sensing capabilities. 

“As Wi-Fi becomes more and more present in public and private spaces, it becomes natural to leverage its ubiquitousness to implement groundbreaking wireless sensing applications such as human presence detection, activity recognition, and object tracking, just to name a few,” says Francesco Restuccia, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University, in a paper.

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Wi-Fi as sensor

Restuccia’s paper summarizes the state of the WLAN sensing project that’s currently being developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 

The project aims to make use of WLAN signals to detect various characteristics of an intended target in a given environment. According to the project it hopes to measure details such as the range, and velocity, as well as detect motion, presence, and proximity, and be sensitive enough to differentiate between objects, people, and animals. 

Once finalized the WLAN sensing should work inside rooms, houses, cars, and enterprise environments. The sensing capabilities will be applicable across a number of IEEE 802.11 standards.

"As yet, research and development efforts have been focused on improving the classification accuracy of the phenomena being monitored, with little regard to S&P [security and privacy] issues,” writes Restuccia in her paper as reported by The Register. She adds that these issues need to be tackled in order for people to trust the new standard.

Via: The Register

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.