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The missing link for the smart home of the future: Cognitive Systems' Aura WiFi Motion
Press release

The race to devise the next best smart home device is a tight one - the world's largest tech companies are constantly introducing new features and products to a highly saturated market of eager consumers. However, there is one drawback to the current state of the smart home: many of these devices operate separately, when in fact, they must communicate with one another in order to achieve a fully connected and truly smart home.

The number of connected devices is expected to grow to 20.4 billion by 2020. In the next few years, IoT devices could know more about your home than you do. Even if you have more than 50 smart devices in your home, if there is a missing link between a device's ability to sense and act accordingly, the home is not smart.

Introducing Aura WiFi Motion

Cognitive Systems created a solution to address this industry-wide challenge. Its patented Aura WiFi Motion technology takes a customer's existing WiFi network and transforms it into a comprehensive, automated home monitoring and security solution.

Through partnerships with chipset manufacturers including Qualcomm, Quantenna Communications and Cypress Semiconductor, Aura WiFi Motion software is layered onto existing access points within a home. It monitors radio frequency (RF) waves from WiFi-enabled products to identify and alert users of motion within a home. Changes to the WiFi signals prompt user notifications that show where motion has occurred.

Aura WiFi Motion has the ability to connect all devices on a mesh network so that they can work together to sense motion from room to room without any additional hardware or software. Over time, as consumers adopt more and more IoT devices, the mesh network will have the ability to truly automate the smart home based on the user's habits, eliminating the need to manually set preferences.

Why WiFi Motion?

In addition to home automation, the usability and benefits of Aura WiFi Motion create several distinct application categories, including:

Home security

Cameras are great for seeing what's going on outside of your house (preventing package theft, etc.), but having cameras inside can cause concerns around privacy. By using WiFi to monitor motion, users can "see" what's happening in each room of their home and understand the context without having a visual line of sight.

Elder care

For consumers who have elderly family members who live alone, Aura WiFi Motion enables loved ones to make sure a family member is up and moving around as expected without infringing on privacy with cameras.

Rental properties

Renting your home or apartment to strangers can be lucrative, but risky. Aura WiFi Motion allows you to monitor your property and provides non-intrusive information, such as the number of people in your rental space, without making your guests uneasy.

Energy management

When no motion is sensed in the home after a certain period of time, lights and other appliances can turn off automatically with Aura WiFi Motion to conserve energy. As Aura WiFi Motion learns user preferences and habits, conservation can be automated for increased savings.

Aura WiFi Motion versus traditional motion sensing

There are other key differences that make Aura WiFi Motion an ideal solution when compared to other options.

WiFi Motion versus cameras

Unlike cameras, Aura WiFi Motion preserves privacy. For most people, cameras are only a solution for outdoor areas. Aura WiFi Motion can cover the whole home.

Cameras can apply machine learning to identify faces and distinguish between pets and humans but there is still a high false detection risk due to pixel changes caused by shadows and lighting. Also, cameras are limited to field-of-view so several units are required to cover a whole home, which can be very costly.

WiFi Motion versus PIR sensors and contact switches:

PIR sensors and contact switches are typically used as stand-alone devices for home security applications. Both require special attention during installation to provide reliable detection ;whereas, Aura WiFi Motion requires no hardware set up.

A contact switch can provide valuable information about localization (which window or door has been opened, etc.), but the total area each device can cover is limited. Aura WiFi Motion also provides additional context, such as when the kids arrive home or how long a caregiver has stayed.

Why 'seeing' motion matters

Most actions in a home require motion. Setting a thermometer, for instance, or opening the door. Being able to "see" and interpret these motions is key for devices to sync with each other and ultimately operate independently with the user's habits and preferences in mind. This device interconnectivity and comprehension of human behavior patterns is the future of the smart home, and Cognitive Systems' groundbreaking Aura WiFi Motion is the technology to catapult us into this future.

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