MIT Discovers New Age Password-Free Wi-Fi |

MIT Discovers New Age Password-Free Wi-Fi

MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) develops Chronos, a highly accurate system which could revolutionise the use of Wi-Fi in robotics, home automation, etc.


The researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have discovered the new-age Wi-Fi that renders passwords redundant and paves the way for safer drones and smarter Internet-equipped homes.

Named Chronos, the system simply needs one Wi-Fi access point to detect people 'within tens of centimeters' without the assistance of any external sensors. This means it can automatically adjust the cooling and heating of a space by sensing the number of people in a room. Where an existing device will typically determine a person's position with the help of multiple Wi-Fi points, Chronos provides 20 times more accurate localization with the help of a single point, researchers claim.

Venkat Padmanabhan, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research India, said, "By devising a method to rapidly hop across these channels that span almost one gigahertz of bandwidth, Chronos can measure time-of-flight with sub-nanosecond accuracy, emulating with commercial Wi-Fi which has previously needed an expensive ultra-wideband radio. This is an impressive breakthrough and promises to be a key enabler for applications such as high-accuracy indoor localization."

A test conducted by the researchers in a two-bedroom apartment showed 94 percent accuracy in detecting which room was occupied by an individual. A similar test in a café differentiated the 'out-of-store' intruders from in-store customers with 97 percent accuracy – a remarkable way of eliminating Internet theft from such small spaces and businesses. Another usefulness of this system comes in the form of the drones maintaining a safe distance from its operator with a mere 4-centimeter (1.5-inch) margin error.

"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 Wi-Fi in robotics, home automation and more. Designing a system that enables one Wi-Fi node to locate another is an important step for wireless technology", said PhD student Deepak Vasisht, who is co-authoring the paper with the research lead Dina Katabi and former PhD student Swarun Kumar.

TAGS: MIT, Password-Free Wi-Fi, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)