The Stack Archive

Qualcomm patents indoor radar WiFi router

Fri 7 Apr 2017

Home security

In a recent patent application, a representative of Qualcomm outlined a wireless communications device that works to provide both internet connectivity and home security, by adding indoor radar to the workings of a WiFi router.

Indoor radar may represent a significant improvement over existing home security systems. For example, CCTV systems only detect objects within the line of sight and are unable to differentiate between known and unknown persons, pets, or objects.

A home security system that uses indoor radar would represent an improvement on existing technology, in that it can differentiate between known and unknown persons, pets and objects. The system can also be adjusted to different settings, representing different states of home occupancy including empty, homeowner present, pets present, or approved guests present.

The indoor radar, as described, sends two sets of wireless signals to the receiver. The first set is transmitted using WLAN, and the system then generates an interference profile using Doppler shifts. A second set of wireless signals is then transmitted on an ultra-wideband (UWB) frequency, and an interference profile is generated using a power profile.

Using a combination of WLAN WiFi and UWB signals allows the patented device to leverage the strengths of each, while at the same time minimizing total system interference by broadcasting data over different channels.

WiFi signals can detect movement throughout the residence, while UWB signals work at detecting slow-moving or stationary objects. The interference profiles that are sent to the receiver can be decoded there as well, based on the pattern of signal distortion from one set of interference profiles to the next.

While the patent description outlines the system in the context of WLAN systems, the author of the patent application states that the same system could be applied to other types of wireless networks including cellular, pico, or satellite networks, as well as in wired systems such as Ethernet.

The system is also able to detect very slow-moving objects, through the use of Doppler, and is able to detect breathing and heartbeat as well. A motionless intruder could be detected by the system, or it could function as a health alarm, to let other occupants of the house know if a user’s breathing or heartbeat stops.


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