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Innovations in smart devices boost at-home smart living

Wi-Fi 6 promises faster, more efficient WiFi for smart home

Although WiFi is already one of the most commonly used wireless standards in smart homes, Taj Manku, Founder and CEO of Cognitive Systems, pointed out that it was becoming more than just a communication layer — it was becoming a layer to provide you context on what is happening in your home.

Cognitive Systems is betting smart home devices will predominately use WiFi over smart home-specific standards like Zigbee and Z-Wave. In the past, WiFi was very spectrally inefficient, even in terms of power, but this would be fixed with the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, said Manku.

“The nice thing about Z-Wave, Zigbee and Bluetooth is that they are spectrally efficient and low power. Wi-Fi 6 will help match this,” Manku said. As such, he believes this will make it a very competitive standard in the smart home market. Also, one of the advantages of WiFi compared to the other IoT standards is it only requires one central hub (i.e. the WiFi access point) that is universal.

WiFi as a service (WaaS) was also named by Manku as something of interest to consumers going forward, rather than “a one-time, you sell a box and that’s the end of it” transaction.

As a subscription-based service, WaaS providers offer infrastructure (e.g., hardware, design, etc.), software and managed services.

Cognitive Systems, a Canada-based radio frequency (RF) technology company, has developed software that can turn WiFi access points intomotion sensors. The technology works by providing context to the motion network. One of the main applications of its software is for elderly care. Taj Manku, Founder and CEO of

Cognitive Systems, said its technologycan be used to track elderly people without having to put cameras on them. Manku said that by turning WiFi-enabled clients (e.g., smart TVs, WiFi plugs, WiFi bulb, etc.) into passive sensors, it was possible to continuously monitor inside a home while still maintaining privacy. “With our technology, you can cover the entire home with your existing WiFi infrastructure with the addition of our software.” Once customers upload the company’s software to their existing WiFi network, they have immediate access to the technology.

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