Evolving Mesh Routers into a Hyper-Product
What is better than a product that works as it’s intended? One that works as intended and integrates another entirely separate function in the same product.
Though mesh routers aren’t the best performing option for wireless broadcasting, it creates a solution within select environments that don’t allow for network cabling. But when you collaborate a single solution with another highly useful function, like home security and safety, it changes the game entirely for said product.
Recently, an innovative algorithm created by Origin Wireless can turn any mesh network into a home security and safety monitoring system, without the need for any additional accessories. Most mesh routers are capable of accepting this algorithm “upgrade” due to their inherent technological design. These routers are designed to send information to each other by detecting where the next one is in the environment. To do this, they broadcast 360 degrees just like a standard router, however, when receiving data, they also must relay that data to their nearest mesh point and vice versa. Because of the massive amount of data sent back and forth between mesh points, they also need to eliminate the unwanted “noise” bouncing off walls and moving objects in the environment. This is called WiFi multipath signals and analyzing this data is the crucial variable of the monitoring algorithm.
The designated router sends a probing signal, then another router copies that signal including its multipath signals and sends everything back, 30 times per second. Basically, this communication between two points is transmitting the monitored changes between signals bouncing back and forth. Therefore, the information can then generate a signature to reflect any environmental changes where they are placed.
The most exciting part is, due to their sensitivity and already advanced technology for data transmission, monitoring within a meshed environment can be so precise that it will even detect human breathing which can broaden its application as a sleep-quality monitor. Additionally, because of WiFi, the mesh points don’t even need to be in direct line-of-sight with one another.
Motion detection by itself can be used for home surveillance and safety by detecting intruders and accidental falls, and with a full mesh network of 3+ routers, they system is able to give you an estimation of where the motion took place. In the fall-detection application, normally people must wear a device that can calculate the impact or the system would require cameras to “see” the falling occur. But in a mesh network, coupling the router algorithm with machine learning, the system can identify what kind of signature to expect when somebody falls without the need for any other sensor.
Since the entire technology is simply a software upgrade by integrating the intelligent algorithm it’s essentially turning a halfway decent home product into an incredible, multi-purpose tool that covers wireless broadcasting, home security, home safety, and possibly even sleep-quality monitoring.
Hopefully this technology will continue to be improved upon and be released to mass-market soon to verify the quality and practicality in the real-world.