A demonstration, of sorts. A new system from Origin Wireless uses Time Reversal Machine technology to have WiFi detect the slightest movement and breathing in the room. This home security system uses WiFi instead of cameras. (Video via Origin Wireless)


I could have used this concept in my indoor motion sensing project.


Home security is a must when it comes to protecting yourself and your family, both inside and outside. For indoor systems, people turn to motion detection, which needs cameras and sensors to properly work, but there are some drawbacks here. Notably, the hardware installation costs can be high along with paying a monthly fee. And despite how comfortable we are taking selfies all the time, not everyone wants a camera on them all the time. This is where Origin Wireless comes in, which uses WiFi signals to detect movement.


So how does it work? The system uses “Time Reversal Machine” technology which is comprised of smart algorithmic work that doesn’t put a strain on the processor. The setup normally includes two hubs: one router for the “Origin” transmitter with the other routers acting as “Bot” receivers. These devices work on 5GHz over 802.11a, 802.11n or 802.11ac signals. The signal also relies on channel state information (CSI) to avoid any interference.


Normally, having WiFi signals that bounce around is bad, but this new device takes advantage of the delays to show the activity of the room. If something moves, the multi-paths will change along with the delay. The software can scan for changes 50 times per second and can detect any motion with an accuracy of 1 to 2 cm with a little bit of machine learning.  All this boils down to the machine can detect the respiration rates of everyone inside the room. Breathing rates are displayed on the live chart.


While it does sound creepy, almost like someone watching you while you sleep, it does show how much we can do with WiFi. And the company thinks they can do more with the system beyond security monitoring. They believe the system can be useful for the elderly who may live alone. Just imagine if they fall, the software can detect the rapid chance in the room along with a long silence.


Right now the device is still being tested and demoed, so we don’t have many real-world situations. But if it works as advertised, it could chance the way we think of home security. It may even be a tad bit safer than a camera set up since those can easily be hacked.


Have a story tip? Message me at: cabe(at)element14(dot)com