What is Wi-Fi Sensing?

Wi-Fi Sensing is a groundbreaking technology that detects and monitors human presence and movement through existing Wi-Fi signals.

This innovative approach utilizes emitted radio signals from devices like routers and client devices to gather valuable information about environments and individuals.

How Does It Work?

Wi-Fi Sensing detects and analyzes the disruptions in existing Wi-Fi signals between connected devices. This process, known as Channel State Information (CSI) analysis, enables motion detection applications.

Analyzing Characteristic Changes

Detailed channel attributes like amplitude, phase, and frequency response are examined over time, yielding insights about the environment.

Sophisticated Algorithms

Advanced algorithms with machine learning and signal processing interpret changes in CSI data, identifying motion types and estimating location.

This comprehensive analysis enhances our understanding and provides crucial context for the collected motion data.

Wi-Fi Sensing Offers Standout Features







It discreetly monitors human activity by only analyzing changing patterns observed from transmitted Wi-Fi signals, bypassing the need for cameras or physical sensors. Its versatility extends to low-light or no-light settings, operating without line-of-sight constraints.

By analyzing these received Wi-Fi signals, Wi-Fi Sensing solutions can provide real-time information about movement in a given area.

Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, Wi-Fi Sensing solutions like WiFi Motion by Cognitive can generate: 


Trigger events

Motion pattern insights


Trigger events

Motion pattern insights

Wi-Fi Sensing represents a revolution in the way we understand and utilize wireless signals. Its ability to transform existing Wi-Fi infrastructure into a powerful motion detection system opens up a world of possibilities for various industries.

Wi-Fi Standards and Standardization

In the world of wireless communication, Wi-Fi standards play a pivotal role in defining how devices connect and collaborate within networks. Developed by industry experts, these standards establish the rules that ensure smooth interactions among diverse devices, delivering a seamless user experience.

Why Are Wi-Fi Standards Important?

Wi-Fi standards are crucial in today’s interconnected world, where everything from smartphones to smart home devices relies on Wi-Fi. These standards simplify the integration and interaction of diverse devices, regardless of manufacturer, with a common language all devices understand.


802.11 is a family of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) standards that define how wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technologies, commonly referred to as Wi-Fi, operate. The 802.11bf standard defines the chipset hardware components that can be used for measuring and obtaining CSI data; a key process for Wi-Fi Sensing. As a particular application of 802.11 technology, this standard addresses a distinct need:

The ability of devices to sense their surroundings using Wi-Fi signals.

Cognitive’s Standards Contribution

Cognitive’s executives and product experts spearheaded Wi-Fi Sensing standardization. They founded the Sensing Work Group within the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) to raise technology awareness and foster industry engagement. Recognizing the need for scalability and mass adoption, Cognitive championed standardized protocols. With the proposal for 802.11 to form a task group (TGbf) approved in September 2020, the TGbf has been working since then on drafting the official amendment.

As chairing members of the WBA’s Sensing Work Group from 2018 to 2021, Cognitive has taken the lead in crafting three defining whitepapers that showcase Wi-Fi Sensing capabilities, applications, and monetization potential; illustrate testing and evaluation methods; and offer valuable deployment insights.

The IEEE Standardization Process

The IEEE’s standardization process unites industry experts, blending diverse perspectives to set precise technical specifications around the entire spectrum of Wi-Fi. The IEEE’s oversight ensures that these standards remain relevant and effective in the face of evolving technology and user demands.

On a technical level, the 802.11bf standard delves into both the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer and the Physical Layer (PHY) of a chip:


The layer that governs how devices access the wireless channel enables structured channel allocation. In Wi-Fi Sensing, these protocols allow devices to optimize their sensing capabilities, determining when and how they sense their surroundings.


The layer focused on signal transmission, reception, and interpretation. In the context of Wi-Fi Sensing, it introduces specific waveforms that enhance the accuracy of CSI measurement. This meticulous approach reduces interference and improves equalization, boosting the reliability of sensing technology.

The Wi-Fi Alliance’s Role in Standardization

Upon the publication of the IEEE 802.11bf standard, the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA), a non-profit organization working to ensure interoperability and security standards for wireless networking, will play a pivotal role in its commercialization. This involves the formulation of comprehensive marketing strategies and the establishment of a certification program. The IEEE will set forth the technical standard, after which chipset companies will undertake the task of developing their own implementations for integration into their products. During this phase, the WFA assumes the crucial responsibility of certifying these implementations through rigorous testing procedures. This ensures uniform adherence to the standard, guaranteeing consistent interpretation and functional behavior across all certified products.

The significance of this certification process cannot be overstated, as consumers rely on the assurance that products from diverse manufacturers and others will operate seamlessly and consistently. The presence of the Wi-Fi logo will serve as an indicator that the product has undergone meticulous testing and certification by the WFA, assuring consumers of its expected functionality.