Self-aware WiFi. You read that right. A WiFi system that instead of being searched for, does the searching and connecting to a WiFi enabled device.
That is the future of WiFi according to researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). They say that they have developed software called Chronos that, according to RoboticTrends.com, "enables a single WiFi access point to locate users to within tens of centimeters." In their video, the researchers explain that this could lead to single room WiFi access, but shut out other users in one building.
The team also shows in their video that using the Decimeter-Level Localization with a Single WiFi Access Point could ensure that drones stay a safe distance away from humans because it can pinpoint exactly where a person is standing in relation to its vicinity.
"From developing drones that are safer for people to be around, to tracking where family members are in your house, Chronos could open up new avenues for using WiFi in robotics, home automation and more," said Deepak Vasisht, an author of the paper and a Ph.D. student at MIT. "Designing a system that enables one WiFi node to locate another is an important step for wireless technology."
The engineers say that the experiments they conducted in an apartment were able to accurately calculate in which room a person was in 94% of the time. A true indoor GPS. The team uses the "time-of-flight" that the data takes to travel from an access point, which was usually calculated with triangulation. Chronos, however, doesn't only calculate the triangulation but also "the actual distance from a user to an access point.
Vasisht says, "Knowing both the distance and the angle allows you to compute the user's position using just once access point. This is encouraging news for the many small businesses and consumers that don't have the luxury of owning several access points."
Another author of the research paper, Professor Dina Katabi, said, "Imagine having a system like this at home that can continuously adapt the heating and cooling depending on a number of people in the home and where they are. Eliminating the need for cooperation between WiFi routers opens up many exciting new applications for localization."