We’ve all been there, impatiently twiddling our thumbs while trying to locate a WiFi signal. But what if, instead, the WiFi could locate us?
According to researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory(CSAIL), it could mean safer drones, smarter homes, and password-free WiFi.
In a new paper, a research team led by Professor Dina Katabi present a system called Chronos that enables a single WiFi access point to locate users to within tens of centimeters, without any external sensors.
The group demonstrated Chronos in an apartment and a cafe, while also showing off a drone that maintains a safe distance from its user with a margin of error of about four centimeters.
“From developing drones that are safer for people to be around, to tracking where family members are in your house, Chronos could open up new avenues for using WiFi in robotics, home automation and more,” says PhD student Deepak Vasisht, who is first author on the paper alongside Katabi and former PhD student Swarun Kumar, who is now an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University. “Designing a system that enables one WiFi node to locate another is an important step for wireless technology.”