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Comms and Internet

MIT Locates People Through Wifi and Chronos

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MIT Locates People Through Wifi and Chronos

A team of researchers at CSAIL (the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligent Laboratory) develops Chronos-- a means to accurately locate users within "tens of centimetres" through the power of wifi signals.

While similar systems already exist, these need multiple access points for wifi triangulation, and in any case tend to not play nice with big objects in the environment. On the other hand Chronos needs only one AP and uses an algorithm to eliminate errors caused by obstacles.

Chronos locates users by calculating "time-of-flight"-- the time data requires to travel from a user to an access point. According to MIT the system is x20 more accurate than existing systems, with calculations (done by multiplying time-of-flight by the speed of light) having an average time-of-flight error of 0.47 nanoseconds.

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A Passive Means to Reduce Wifi Energy Use

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A Passive Means to Reduce Wifi Energy Use

University of Washington researchers reveal a means to reduce the power consumption involved with wifi networks-- "Passive Wifi" using virtually no energy even when providing data transfer speeds of up to 11Mbps.

For the curious Passive Wifi energy consumption reaches up to 49.28 µW when pushing 11Mbps transmissions. Energy use is even lower during 1Mbps transmissions, being around 14.48µW. According to the researchers such a rate is 1000x lower than Bluetooth LE and ZigBee, or 10000x lower than existing wifi chipsets.

To achieve such power reductions Passive Wifi involves a redesign of the power-hungry radios making a router, creating a single device users plug into walls. The plug-in device generates a continuous wifi signal which in turn is reflected by passive devices, creating a chain of low-power transmitters.

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Intel, Qualcomm Team Up in WiGig

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Intel, Qualcomm Team Up in WiGig

Intel and Qualcomm manage to demonstrate multi-gigabit interoperability between respective WiGig (aka 802.11ad wifi) products--  a "crucial milestone" in making WiGig a mainstream technology.

According to the two companies WiGig devices can connect "seamlessly" at speeds reaching up to 4.6Gbps. The milestone involves the testing of connections between Intel/Qualcomm WiGig-based clients and Qualcomm WiGig wireless routers  in cases and conditions ranging from device discovery and connection to full-blown uploads, downloads and streaming. All tests show "multi-gigabit real data throughput" between devices, showing the technology's potential to address growing data demand in homes, enterprises and carrier networks.

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TP-Link Announces 802.11ad Router

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TP-Link Announces 802.11ad Router

CES 2016 has TP-Link announce what it claims is the first 802.11ad router in the world-- the Talon AD7200, a faintly terrifying multi-pronged beast promising faster downloads at short distances.

Designed to sit on top of the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz wifi bands, 802.11ad uses the 60GHz frequency. The Talon AD7200 features a Qualcomm chipset combining all frequencies for connection speeds reaching up to 7.2Gbp (TP-Link says it allows users to download an entire 4K movie in around 4 minutes), if with the cost of shorter distances and low wall penetration.

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The Wifi HaLow for the Internet of Things

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The Wifi HaLow for the Internet of Things

At CES 2016 the Wifi Alliance unveils a next generation wifi standard-- HaLow (aka 802.11ah), a standard operating on the 900Mhz designed for the low power needs of sensors and wearables.

HaLow is best described as broad yet shallow, since it offers double the range of the current 2.4GHz standard with better wall penetration and lower power consumption while providing less bandwidth. As such it is ideal for the small data payloads and low-power devices making the Internet of Things (IoT).

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Velmenni Tests Light-Based Li-Fi Internet

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Velmenni Tests Light-Based Li-Fi Internet

Estonian startup Velmenni starts testing Li-Fi, the light-based alternative to wifi, in the real world with a pilot program taking place in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn.

According to the company the technology already shows promise, as it reaches connection speeds of up to 1Gbps-- 100 times faster than wifi. It has been seen to go faster still, as February 2015 tests by University of Oxford researchers achieved Li-Fi speeds of 224Gbps.

"We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilise the VLC (visible light communication) technology," Velmenni CEO Deepak Solanki tells IBTimes UK. "Currently we have designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through light. We are also doing a pilot project with a private client where we are setting up a Li-Fi network to access the internet in their office space."

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AVG Crowdfunds Chime Router

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AVG Crowdfunds Chime Router

AVG takes to Indiegogo to launch a consumer mesh network router-- the Chime, a device the company says differs from the likes of the Luma router through the addition of backed-in security.

Like other mesh network routers found in enterprise environments, multiple Chime units work together to cover the house in "strong and reliable" wifi. The 802.11ac router features dual-band 2.4/5GHz radios, together with a dual-core CPU, x1 USB 2.0 port and x2 ethernet port, and AVG claims a single Chime handles up to 50 devices.

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Bluetooth Gets More Range, Speed

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Bluetooth Gets More Range, Speed

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announces the features Bluetooth will be getting in 2016-- including range and speed improvements, as well as the addition of mesh networking.

Bluetooth Smart speed is set to increase by up to 4x, while speed will be up by 100%-- without, crucially, an increase in energy consumption, even as critical applications get faster data transfers, increased responsiveness and lower latency.

The addition of mesh networking also allows Bluetooth devices to work together in order to cover an entire area or building, opening home and industrial IoT applications. The Bluetooth SIG has a group working on the technology, the imaginatively named Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group.

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The Luma "Surround Wifi" System

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The Luma

A startup named Luma presents a means to ensure home wifi installations do have any connection dead spots-- a "surround wifi" system consisting of multiple routers.

Luma routers are available as a 3-pack, and form a single network once set up. The company claims the routers "always offer peak performance and speed" by automatically tuning signals according to user position, making it sound like a consumer version of the mesh networks found in large enterprise environments.

Each router carries two dual-band 2GHz and 5GHz radios using 802.11ac Wave 2 wifi.

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