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CES 2020: Linksys extends WLAN mesh with health monitoring

In cooperation with the AI specialists from Origin Wireless, Linksys brings with the “Wellness Pods” an accessory for its Velop-Mesh router, which connects your network to one To enable art health monitoring.

Linksys plans to launch its Wellness Pods later this year. The small devices look very similar to Google's Nest Mini and can be used anywhere in the house and connected to the Linksys mesh based on the Velop router.

The “Wellness Pods” then increase the scanning frequency of the radio waves in the WLAN coverage area by up to now 30 times then around 1. 500 times per second, which obviously significantly improves the possibilities of detecting movements in the coverage area. But, let's first look at a few basics so that the meaning of the “Wellness Pods” is understandable.

Linksys Aware on the Linksys Velop-Mesh routers

In October 2019 Linksys had his Velop-Tri-Band – Mesh router expanded by the ability to detect and report movements in the entire coverage area of ​​the radio network. For this purpose, the company had developed a software called Linksys Aware, which was used as an additional service for around 27 euros could be booked in a year.

After activating the service, the Linksys devices use their WLAN signal to detect and save movements in the coverage area. Direct notification of the user is also possible via the Linksys mobile smart wifi app.

Linksys Aware uses a radar method to detect movements in the room

Linksys Aware is based on the Wigait concept , which researchers from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the year 2018. The concept is based on the radar principle, in which radio waves are transmitted and their return is interpreted.

In the case of the Linksys router, the WLAN points send out signals that cross and thus cancel each other out and are therefore not noticeable. Static objects are also hidden because they always reflect the radio waves at an identical point. However, if a person moves in the coverage area, this leads to changing radio reflections that the devices can perceive, save and report.

Meanwhile, MIT is working on refining the technology. This should not only measure the direction of movement, but also the speed. The researchers even consider the reflections to be so meaningful that they would be able to use them to detect breathing or specific moods if the sampling frequency were sufficiently high.

Special pods increase sampling rate…

This is where the “Wellness Pods” come into play. They are now raising the signal frequency in the WLAN from around 30 Signals per second to 1. 500. Similar to a scanner that is supposed to read an image and that can work the more accurately, the more pixel-precise it can work, the new pods should also ensure that the signal reflections on the sheer number allow more precise interpretations.

… so even subtle movements can be captured

Linksys and Origin see one use case, for example, in the care of older people. If their apartment were equipped with the Linksys mesh and some strategically positioned “wellness pods”, important information could be called up at any time via the app on the caregiver's smartphone.

It is not possible to collect classic vital data such as pulse or blood pressure in this way. Typically, however, it will be enough to know that the person is still moving fully through the apartment or that they are breathing during the night. Linksys Aware should also be able to detect and report different types of falls.

The colleagues of Gizmodo were able to meet at CES 2020 in Las Vegas already take a picture of the pods in interaction with the Velop mesh.

Linksys has not yet given a specific introduction date or prices for the “Wellness Pods”.

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