WiFi Sensing Standards
July 6, 2021

The Next Big Wi-Fi Standard Is for Sensing, Not Communication

Sometime in 2024, the IEEE will unveil a new 802.11 standard that will bring new capabilities to everyone’s favorite wireless communication standard. But the upcoming 802.11bf standard isn’t for communication — it’s for sensing.

The newest version of Wi-Fi layers on the ability to sense people or objects by using math to calculate how they disturb the signals bouncing around a physical space, so our established Wi-Fi devices will become part of a network that will be used to figure out the location of humans and things contained within particular spaces. It will also be the first time we’ll have a version of Wi-Fi that goes beyond data transmission. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal.

A proto version of the technology is currently being used to detect motion in certain smart home applications, thanks to a company called Cognitive Systems. But standardization will make Wi-Fi sensing ubiquitous. So it’s worth learning a bit about what it can and can’t do, and how product companies might layer it into their devices.

The IEEE plans to take the concepts for Wi-Fi sensing from the proprietary system built by Cognitive (which has been licensed to Qualcomm and also Plume) and create a standard interface for how the chips calculate interference that determines where in space an object is.

To read the full article from Stacey on IoT, click here.