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Can WiFi Help Solve the Caregiver Crisis

The following article was authored by our Head of Marketing, Susan Gallotti, about how she used WiFi Motion to help her mother age in place.

My mom has always been set in her ways. She was a woman of routine who would do the groceries every Saturday at 8 A.M like clockwork and vacuum the main floor every afternoon at 3 P.M. just before us kids and our dad would come home. It was hard for me to have that picture of my mom in my head change as she got older. I always knew the day would come when I had to take care of my mom, but I didn’t realize exactly how hard that would be. While being a caretaker can be extremely rewarding, it is also exhausting and draining to manage alongside other conflicting priorities, and for me personally, my own stress and anxieties. Working for Cognitive at the time, I was lucky to have access to WiFi Motion, which helped reduce the stress of becoming a caretaker for my mom.

As a true product of her 1950s upbringing, being the perfect housewife for my mom meant being the caretaker of the family and home. Her top concerns were always organizing the home, her sanctuary, and keeping her family healthy, happy, and well fed. So naturally, everything in our home had its right place. When I was younger, I can remember being constantly trapped in a cycle of grabbing a new water glass, placing it down somewhere, and coming back only to find it missing because my mom put it back in the sink. Rinse and repeat. And dinner was always sacred for her. Never having worked a day in her life, my mom loved being able to have a delicious, warm meal ready when the family came home at the end of the day. If I was lucky, it would be my favorite: spaghetti and meatballs.

As my mom got older, much of this reality changed for her. Her children had grown up and moved away to start families of their own and her husband, my father, unfortunately passed away. Suddenly, my mom, who thrived off of being a homemaker, now faced the reality of aging alone in her home without others to tend to. For someone like my mom, who was a bit of an introvert and a homebody, being left to one’s own devices for the majority of her days left her feeling without purpose. The woman who had always seen herself as the caretaker of the family no longer had family at home to take care of. She was the kind of person that was great at taking care of others, but not so great about caring for herself. So, she never complained or voiced any concerns about her comfort or health to me or my siblings. You see, my mom never wanted to be a burden. Admitting she needed help was the last thing she wanted to do. This would result in her refusing to call a repairman or a family member if the plumping or appliances in her house needed work. Instead, she’d just let the problem sit for months until the next time it happened to conveniently come up on one of our visits from out of town.

Taking Stress Out of the Equation
And for a time, that’s how things were in our family. More and more, my sister and I found ourselves pulled in a million directions, attempting to juggle demanding careers and raising children. I developed the worrying realization that my mom was quickly approaching the age where she would need a more watchful eye and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make add taking care of her to my already overwhelming list of responsibilities. Also knowing my mom, I wasn’t even sure that she would accept the help.

Since my mom was living alone, my sister and I were constantly worried about her. We weren’t sure if she was getting enough exercise, if she was safe, or even if she was eating right. However, since we were managing our own busy jobs, all we could do was regularly check-in with her through phone calls. My mom has always been bad with technology though. Being used to rotary phones and fearful about telemarketing calls, she had the frustrating habit of leaving the phone off the hook, no matter how many times we reminded her not to. My sister and I would spend hours, sometimes days, trying to reach her by phone, trying to juggle our work and family commitments to figure out who had the time to drive to check on her.

One time, we had been unable to reach my mom all night, but my sister and I had busy work days with looming deadlines, so both of us spent the day stressed and anxious, trying to re-organize commitments so that one of us could drive over to check in on her. Imagine how frustrated we were when we showed up only to see our mom absolutely fine at home, with the phone off the hook again. Annoyed that we had to reschedule meetings or fall behind on projects, we’d let out our irritation on our mom, even though she didn’t know better. When all that emotion finally boiled over and our mom was left looking guilty over yet another innocent mistake, we knew we couldn’t keep barging in on her, putting our lives on hold, and having everyone feel so frustrated. The guilt-ridden exchanges lessened once we got WiFi Motion set up in her home. It would be as simple as my sister texting me to say “I can’t reach mom.” I would open up the Live Motion view on the WiFi Motion app and immediately be able to relay back to her that there was movement near the kitchen less than an hour ago. That would prevent the emotional tsunami from even getting underway. It freed us to continue about our days without all the stress of letting our imaginations get the best of us.

Fearful of change, my mother’s worst-case scenario was to move out of the house that she had helped build and lived in for almost five decades. As well, my mom has always been a bit fearful about going out into the normal everyday world. As she aged, she wanted less and less to go grocery shopping or even to the hairdresser. But on the flip side, mom was scared of living alone. She would obsessively check that the garage door was closed or that the windows and doors were locked.

We needed something that would allow her to age in place confidently and comfortably while providing my sister and I with peace of mind. We wanted to take a proactive approach to keeping her safe, happy, and healthy that would ultimately break the vicious cycle of anger, guilt, and frustration. Parents shouldn’t have to be accountable to their kids, after all.

This emotional turmoil I experienced was only made worse by how busy my life was at the time, and how stressed that made me about being a caregiver. I was working a full-time job, commuting over an hour and a half each day, juggling the shifting schedules of my kids’ extracurriculars and my husband’s shift work, keeping my dog happy and healthy, and all while having to remember to check in on my mom regularly for mundane things such as taking out the garbage or buying groceries. A simple phone call from my mom saying “the fridge died again” would be enough to send me into a panic attack in the corner. It forces you to feel angry at the responsibilities thrust upon you, but then guilty for feeling that way.

I never expected to be taking care of a parent while I was still raising my own children. This is the part of being a caregiver that no one wants to talk about. When you’re overwhelmed in your personal or professional life, you don’t want to have to deal with a parent’s demands on your time but then that leaves you feeling guilty about not being a better child or losing your temper at your parent. The anxieties with caring for an aging parent inevitably bleed into other relationships in your life such as your spouse, children, or siblings as you have to keep more and more plates spinning at the same time. Simply put, being a caretaker is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s rarely convenient, often fraught with awkward conversations, frays on your last nerves, and pulls on your deepest heartstrings. Those feelings can take a serious toll on your own health.

Luckily, at the time I was working with Cognitive and was immersed in their WiFi Motion technology. Dealing with all of this in my personal life made me that much more passionate about the possibilities behind our technology. While its eldercare applications were yet to be explored, I could see the potential for a simple system that would allow my sister and I to remotely check on my mom and gain insights into her daily life. No more frantic check ins. No more anxieties about her safety. We wanted to be able to catch problems before they became too serious. Especially since we knew that mom could be obstinate when it came to asking for help or being truthful about her daily life.

Bringing WiFi Sensing into the Home
I would describe my mom as having been technologically inept. Before bringing WiFi Motion into her home, she didn’t even have an internet connection. In a way, setting up the router and pods for the monitoring system was a soft onboarding for her into the world of technology. Sure, she didn’t fully understand everything you could do with a connected device but she knew it was active in her home. After all, there was no device she had to manage or wear. She didn’t even need to understand the technology for it to work. She could go about her day and my sister and I could look into her well-being with Live Motion.

While this setup was great for quick check ins, it also helped us learn things about my mom that we would never have thought to ask about. For example, we noticed that she wasn’t leaving the house very often – even though during our visits she would tell us that she took regular walks. Or, we noticed less movement in the kitchen. Cooking had always been such an important thing for my mother, especially as a mom and wife. Now living alone, she had lost that sense of purpose when it came to cooking. A simple thing like knowing that she was not spending as much time in the kitchen was enough to prompt me to buy my mom some new frozen dinners that she would have never purchased for herself, helping her discover some new meals that were interesting to her and easy to make so she’d be more likely to eat a regular and balanced diet. It was these tiny insights about her behaviour that provided us with information to make small changes that supported her living at home but weren’t confrontational or would threaten her independence.

Giving Mom Space to be Herself
We wanted to make sure our mom was still living the way she wanted without feeling like a burden. After all, she saw herself as the caretaker, not the other way around. With WiFi Motion, we could get back to what mattered to my mom – being the rock of the family and home. Visiting my mom was no longer this big emotional tsunami that would leave people more hurt than before. We could focus on just spending time with our mom and enjoying her company now that we had a bit of visibility into her health and activity. We were finally able to get back to spaghetti and meatballs and leaving glasses where they shouldn’t be; the latter trait being one that I recently discovered is perhaps inheritable. After being chastised by one of my own kids for twice putting his water glass into the dishwasher when he wanted to use it as a hydration reminder, I couldn’t help but think of my mom and smile. It’s those happy moments that I am glad dominate my memory of her in her old age. Miss you, mom.

If there’s one place we should all feel safe and relaxed, it’s in our own home. But ironically, because the security of our home is so important to us, it’s also a major point of anxiety. The contentment we’re all looking for often eludes us because of one thing: the unknown.

“Did that noise come from downstairs?” “Did the repairman arrive and leave at the appropriate time?” “Is the baby sleeping through the night?” “Have the kids been in the TV room all day?”

When we don’t know, concern sets in. Enter WiFi Motion – a motion intelligence system that can be used for home monitoring. It gives you the information you need to put your mind at ease, providing solutions to inherently personal problems. It does all of this simply by using your existing WiFi ecosystem. From a single-family home to multi-unit building, from a big family to a person living alone, these everyday insights can alleviate some of the nagging stresses of daily life.

To learn more about the ways in which individuals and families alike are benefitting from this convenient technology, we interviewed two users with very different home environments. What we discovered is despite their differences, WiFi Motion enabled them both to go about their day with an extra layer of security for themselves and/or their loved ones.

Ease concerns about living alone
For Amanda, living alone doesn’t mean she’s losing sleep over personal security – the information she needs to feel safe and sound is right at her finger tips.

Amanda has always looked forward to living on her own, but as someone who tends to fixate on small sounds or oddities, she was seeking a solution that could help her get excited at the idea. Today, she lives in a large condo building and uses WiFi Motion to put her mind at ease and confirm there was no unusual activity in her apartment.

“I knew moving into such a large building with multiple residents, I was bound to hear the odd sound every now and then. Normally they are easy enough to ignore, but there was one night in particular I kept hearing this sporadic noise while trying to sleep and I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Every time I thought it had stopped and was about to fall asleep, it would start again. The unease of not knowing where it was coming from was enough to keep me up most of the night. Having the ability to quickly check my phone and confirm there was no activity in my unit or see when motion was last detected has certainly helped my sleep schedule.” she says.

Motion detection insights also help when she gets home at the end of the day. She can easily check her app as she’s entering the building to reassure herself that there was no motion inside while she was away. “When I’m leaving my place early in the morning and not arriving home until late at night, knowing that I can easily confirm that nothing went on in my unit while I was away is comforting.”

She can also make sure building maintenance workers are acting with integrity in her home and confirm that they didn’t linger, especially in private rooms they don’t need to be in. Ultimately, Amanda enjoys the freedoms of living alone while feeling comfortable and protected in her own personal haven.

Families gain a clear conscience
Geordie who lives with his wife and young son, appreciates that he can monitor not only the security of his property, but the activity and sleeping patterns of the whole family.

On top of typical home security concerns, families have the added stress for the safety of their spouse and kids – and Geordie’s family is no different. Often on the go, he can have a clear conscience that his properties are secure, his children are where they’re supposed to be, and can understand the activity and sleeping patterns of the whole household. With today’s busy family lifestyles, having WiFi Motion within the home is like a third set of non-intrusive eyes when parents are occupied or away.

“With young kids, you wish you could have eyes everywhere, all the time,” Geordie explains. “My wife is a teacher and has recently gone back to working in the classroom. We both like having the ability to see the activity patterns in our home and see how our son and his caretaker are spending their day without the caretaker feeling uneasy that she is being watched.” He appreciates that he can receive notifications while at work about the activity in his home right from his apple watch. WiFi Motion can let him know that his son and caretaker are home from the park, that there is activity in the playroom downstairs, or that his son is getting ready to take a nap in his bedroom.

Geordie’s family also has a cottage, and he has added peace of mind there too. WiFi Motion works together with the existing security system to provide further insights they did not get with just the security system alone. “When we’re at the cottage, we can check to make sure there’s no unusual motion at home. And when we’re at home, we can also keep tabs on the cottage. We have the ability to monitor both at our fingertips.”

He also uses WiFi Motion to learn more about his family’s health-related habits. He can conveniently make sure his son is getting a full night’s rest or check in to see household activity throughout the day. “There are so many things to consider when ensuring your child’s development is on track and having access to these insights is just one more tool in my parenting toolbelt.”

Home Security made simple
WiFi Motion is, for anyone who wants a little extra peace of mind. While Amanda and Geordie live very different home lives, the one thing they share, as we all do, is a desire to feel comfortable, safe, and happy in our homes. These reassuring insights make this a reality—without having to install any cameras, motion sensors, or other hardware. WiFi Motion is layered onto an existing router, without compromising their original functions, network speed or privacy. It’s home security made simple. Turns out, security is as much a feeling as a tool and WiFi Motion is the perfect way to get both.

It is no surprise that WiFi has come a long way since it was first introduced to consumers in 1997. Today, people around the world rely on WiFi as the number one way to communicate and stay connected. However, despite its impressive evolution over the past 20 years, the standards that dictate how our WiFi networks operate are getting an upgrade.

Enter 802.11bf: the latest standard in the IEEE 802.11™ family that is the core technology behind WiFi. For the first time ever, WiFi will officially be used for something other than communication, as this new standard will transform WiFi from a communication-only technology to a fully-fledged sensing paradigm.

As the leaders in the WiFi Sensing space, we are thrilled about the endless possibilities 802.11bf could unlock for the entire industry. This new standard is going to maximize the features, efficiencies and capabilities of WiFi Sensing, with a platform to introduce a wide range of new and life-changing applications.

The key advantage of this new standard is that there will be a defined set of expected inputs and outputs for each wireless device that is specifically related to WiFi Sensing. These regulations will enable wireless devices to behave in a specific, deterministic way. This will ensure that bandwidth is allocated more effectively, allowing the network to operate efficiently and easily support the uptake of motion sensing. Not only will this improve the efficiency and reliability of existing applications, it will open the door for many more.

Why we need a new standard

WiFi permeates our lives – it is in most of our homes, offices and increasingly in many public spaces. Despite this considerable popularity and widespread adoption, using WiFi for motion sensing is still a relatively novel concept. As a result, there is no existing standard governing WiFi Sensing…until now. The implementation of this new standard will aid its mass adoption. 802.11bf will:

  • Make existing WiFi Sensing technologies more efficient and reliable
    • How? By improving bandwidth allocation so that WiFi Sensing can be performed more reliably without impacting WiFi performance, and by adding more smart devices to the overall ecosystem, ensuring sure they work together seamlessly
  • Open the door for new WiFi Sensing applications in the home (e.g., energy management) and elsewhere (e.g., enterprise and hospitality offerings)
    • How? By defining a list of required testing protocols that a device must meet to be WiFi Sensing certified.
  • Bring the predictive smart home closer to reality
    • How? The standardized methods for WiFi Sensing will enable more advanced use cases that will allow for improvements to existing applications. Mass adoption and more connected devices will introduce an exciting future for the advanced smart home.

The benefits of 802.11bf will span industry-wide

Standardization will benefit the entire industry and WiFi users across the globe. It will allow companies involved at every stage in the deployment process to seamlessly work together. It will ensure compatible devices are primed to enable new, useful motion sensing features. Ultimately, this results in a better customer experience.

Simplified Integration

Standardization will make it easier for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and Service Providers to incorporate sensing insights into their products. It provides a trusted gateway for adoption, with clear protocol and specifications, reducing the integration cycle. This provides the flexibility to work with multiple chipset vendors, instead of being locked in with just one.

Improved Timelines for Chipset Vendors

Similarly, chipset vendors are no longer limited to working with only one service vendor to layer WiFi Sensing onto their products. They will be able to integrate their chipsets with different companies without needing a custom process each time. The addition of new features and advanced updates is seamless and completed at the firmware level, meaning a new customer experience can be delivered easily and affordably.

Consistent Experience for End User

Abridged implementation and guidelines will, of course, appear to the consumer as a consistent experience regardless of provider or device. The introduction of IoT devices designated to work with WiFi Sensing will help the industry move towards a more seamless customer experience. Just as with WiFi connectivity, reliability and accessibility are crucial to cement WiFi Sensing as a trusted technology that will ultimately benefit us all.

Connecting People and Brands via Motion Insights

Standardization will also allow brands to benefit from this new technology. Devices that meet the standard would be recognized as optimal for WiFi Sensing and will have a higher probability of being selected as sensors. Due to their heightened visibility in the app, consumers are more likely to view devices most commonly used as sensors as a valuable part of their WiFi Sensing services.

How IEEE 802.11bf came to be

Early in our work with WiFi Motion, we identified several challenges that could be best solved through industry-wide cooperation. This new technology has the potential to change the course of WiFi forever, but ease of implementation and a smooth user experience are crucial to its success.

For WiFi Sensing to truly flourish and become scalable, we knew that collaboration with industry groups was the first step. We partnered with the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) to form the first WiFi Sensing Work Group. Our very own Senior Mixed-Signal Architect, Chris Beg, was integral in getting this group off the ground and presenting findings to the WBA. The first WiFi Sensing white paper was published by the group in October 2019, outlining current use cases as well as areas where the technology could grow and improve.

From there, the group’s discoveries and recommendations were brought to the IEEE. On September 29, the IEEE approved IEEE 802.11bf for WiFi Sensing. To bring this standard to life, the IEEE is responsible for defining the components, features and mechanisms that can be productized. The end result will see a list of rules and requirements that a device will have to meet to support WiFi Sensing. Throughout this process, the IEEE will work in tandem with the WiFi Alliance. The WiFi Alliance will then create the test and certification program, ensuring products meet the criteria to be WiFi Sensing certified.

The IEEE anticipates having the first draft of their proposed standard by January 2022.

A standard with endless possibility

In just over three years, 802.11bf will not only impact those with a commercial interest in WiFi, it will advance sensing to help improve the lives of people around the world. It will open up a world of new application possibilities, especially for those working alongside pioneers Cognitive Systems to unlock the full potential of WiFi Sensing. From software developers to internet service providers, and down the delivery pipeline to the end user, we are expanding our understanding of what WiFi can be used for and how it can function within our day-to-day lives. With the 802.11bf standard, the future of WiFi is in motion.

But wait…what about privacy?

We know it is important to address privacy concerns, as 802.11bf will increase the prevalence of this relatively new technology. WiFi Sensing requires the same level of governing around privacy as any other WiFi technology and is more private than most commonly used smart devices.

At Cognitive Systems, we are committed to protecting your privacy, and we take comfort in knowing that this standard will allow us to continue to do so. WiFi Motion is inherently private by design, measuring only binary data that represents changes in WiFi signals to sense motion. Unlike cameras and VoIP systems, it cannot see you, hear you or identify you.

The word “diversity” is pervasive, especially when it comes to the workplace, but do we fully understand its importance? Yes, diversity is about everyone getting their fair shot – but it’s also a smart business decision. When the talent pool is larger and more diverse, everyone brings unique perspectives and experience to the table. Better solutions are found. Breakthroughs are achieved. Innovation happens. Everyone wins.

The importance of diversity was illustrated clearly for me while working on a group exercise for my MBA. We were “stranded” in the arctic with a list of 20 items to prioritize in order to survive. First, we did the exercise on our own. Then, we repeated the exercise with a group of people with similar genders and ethnicities. In the third round, we completed the same task with a more diverse group. The results spoke for themselves: the more diverse the group, the better the outcome and the much greater chance of survival. Although the example is anecdotal, research supports the results. Companies that are gender, ethnically and culturally diverse are more likely to financially outperform their industry peers.

Anyone working in STEM knows we have a diversity problem, with women particularly underrepresented. According to Statistics Canada, women made up only 34% of STEM bachelor’s degree holders in 2016, and only 23% of science and technology workers among Canadians aged 25 to 64. What amazing ideas, breakthroughs and collaborative opportunities have we missed out on as a result? Conversely, since STEM jobs are at the forefront of innovation with some of the highest salaries, what fulfilling careers have women been missing out on?

This is an area I spend a lot of time thinking about, and, in light of International Women’s Day, I hosted a virtual roundtable for the women I work with at Cognitive Systems. I wanted to get their perspectives as women working in tech and kick off an important conversation that should be an ongoing one – not just something we focus on once a year. We need to hear both the good and the bad, and openly discuss our concerns and experiences, so that we can work together to make things better.

Still Room for Improvement

In our discussion, we talked about representation in school, in recruitment and in the workplace. We agreed that progress has been made in education, with more women than ever pursuing degrees in STEM. Unfortunately, we aren’t yet seeing this translate at the same pace into the working world.

One colleague mentioned an important disconnect, observing that women often only apply for a role if they meet 100% of the job requirements, whereas men are less hesitant to apply even if they meet only some of the criteria. In my experience working in tech and reviewing resumes, I’ve found support for this theory. The smaller number of women applicants tend to meet all job requirements. Of course, qualified men apply as well, but there are a lot more who don’t tick every box.

How can we address this in recruitment, so that more women are encouraged to apply? For starters, we can be more deliberate in the way we word job descriptions and promote flexibility in role requirements to encourage a diverse range of applicants. Hiring for specific skills is certainly important, but hiring someone who is motivated to learn and is a good cultural fit is equally important for success.

Another solution is to make best use of co-op programs. At Cognitive, we provide our co-ops with challenging and meaningful work that advances our corporate goals. During our roundtable, one of our students revealed that Cognitive had exceeded her expectations with respect to how she would be treated and the importance of the work she would do. It was disheartening to hear that she had low expectations, but I’m glad we were able to deliver more. By encouraging more young women to apply for co-op roles and leveraging their strengths, we hope they will be excited to continue a career in STEM.

Something else to think about is that not all positions in our industry need to embody traditional ideas of what a “tech job” should be. A company cannot operate solely based on the hard skills of engineering. Developing an idea, product or service is only one part of the equation – many other roles make important contributions that are essential to organizational success. Shining a brighter light on these roles and the soft skills required to perform them should encourage greater diversity in applicants, and not just women.

What do women love about working in STEM?

By increasing diversity in STEM, we are ultimately driving greater success for everyone, and there are many reasons for women to join these industries. My colleagues who participated in the roundtable had some important takeaways to share:

“I like that my work contributes to new ideas that have never been done before. I also like that I’m constantly learning, especially because the tech field is always improving and innovating.” – Safa

“I like being able to directly contribute to innovation and break new ground. Coming up with solutions to make the world a better and easier place for people makes working in tech feel very meaningful.” – Sarmina

“One of the biggest appeals that people might not think of is the creativity involved, every day presents a new challenge and a new puzzle to solve. I am constantly learning, building upon what I know and forced to use my knowledge to solve new problems that have never been tackled before.” – Emilie

“I love that technology is the cross-road between logical and creative. Knowing how something functions and its limitations and then challenging those to create new and exciting things.” – Katie

A few key pieces of advice for women interested in STEM also emerged from our discussion:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail because it’s just part of the process. Fall down, make mistakes, and move forward unapologetically.
  • There is nothing wrong with asking for help.
  • Look for guidance from other successful women in STEM and don’t be afraid to forge your own path.
  • You don’t necessarily need to be an engineer. There are lots of ways to work in STEM outside of traditional “tech” roles.

For increased diversity and inclusion in the STEM workforce, there’s work to be done. Supporting meaningful co-op placements and ensuring hiring practices encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds are small steps we can take today to ensure even more breakthroughs in our future.

I’ll leave you with one quote from our roundtable that really stood out for me:

“I always had a curiosity about the world around me and was inspired by the endless possibilities that STEM offers. With the tools you develop working in STEM you can do anything. Studying STEM means learning how to learn, how to break down a problem, challenge your own assumptions and think outside of the box. Everything you learn just spawns more questions and feeds the hunger within you to keep learning.” – Emilie

WiFi Motion™ enables service providers to create next-gen customer experiences

WATERLOO, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cognitive Systems Corp. announced today an integration with Airties to offer its patented WiFi Motion technology across Airties’ portfolio of WiFi 6 solutions. Cognitive’s WiFi Motion will make it easier than ever for service providers to access this revolutionary sensing technology.

“As a pioneer and leader in Wi-Fi sensing, we are pleased to be working with Cognitive Systems on new Wi-Fi 6 solutions” Tweet this

Over the past six years, Cognitive Systems has designed, developed, and implemented the first and most sophisticated WiFi-enabled motion sensing software on the market. WiFi Motion leverages connected IoT devices to turn the entire home into a motion-sensing network, introducing an innovative way to use WiFi. With 37 ISPs currently offering WiFi Motion around the globe, millions of homes already have access to this new service and its growing number of applications.

“Service providers are looking for new ways to differentiate from competitors and retain customers. Our priority is providing smart WiFi solutions that offer value beyond connectivity,” said Taj Manku, Co-Founder and CEO of Cognitive Systems. “Like us, Airties aims to shape the next generation of wireless solutions and see the possibilities for motion sensing, from smarter home monitoring to a higher standard of eldercare. We’re doing the legwork with their Wi-Fi 6 portfolio to get WiFi Motion ready for some forward-thinking Airties service providers who want to offer these benefits to their customers as soon as possible.”

Cognitive Systems and Airties share a commitment to staying ahead of the market, both by being active members of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and closely following emerging trends. In addition to the current home monitoring capabilities, WiFi Motion’s highly anticipated eldercare solution will bring peace of mind to caregivers by providing discreet wellness monitoring without the need for cameras or wearable devices. The market for remote wellness monitoring products is growing rapidly. Soon customers will be able to receive notifications and gain valuable insights into not only their homes but also the homes of loved ones.

“As a pioneer and leader in Wi-Fi sensing, we are pleased to be working with Cognitive Systems on new Wi-Fi 6 solutions,” said Metin Taskin, Co-Founder and CTO of Airties. “Cognitive’s product roadmap has a realistic game plan for both implementation and longevity. The integration of WiFi Motion and Airties can enable service providers to offer innovative value-add Wi-Fi services to their customers.”

About Cognitive Systems
Cognitive Systems Corp. is on a mission to transform the way WiFi networks are used. Its flagship technology, WiFi Motion™, uses wireless signals to sense motion in the home. WiFi Motion harnesses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to reliably identify and localize motion for the smart home, home monitoring, and wellness monitoring markets. This patented technology is layered onto existing WiFi networks without additional hardware to enhance service provider and router manufacturer offerings.

About Airties
Founded in 2004, Airties is the most widely deployed provider of managed in-home Wi-Fi solutions to operators around the globe. The company offers Smart Wi-Fi software, a cloud-based management platform, and Mesh extenders. Service providers turn to Airties for the design, implementation, and ongoing optimization of their customers’ broadband experience. With an installed base of over 30 million homes, Airties’ customers include: Altice USA, AT&T, Singtel, Sky, Telia, Telstra, and many others. More information is available at

WATERLOO, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cognitive Systems Corp. today announced that its patented WiFi Motion™ technology is now standard for customers developing products using Broadcom’s new WiFi 6 mesh and access point solutions. First available in February 2020 on select WiFi 5 chips, Cognitive Systems’ revolutionary WiFi sensing solution is gaining momentum in WiFi 6 deployments. Wide enablement of WiFi Motion on all Broadcom WiFi 6 access point silicon will open up a multitude of motion sensing opportunities in the growing WiFi-as-a-Service industry. Together, Cognitive Systems and Broadcom are paving the way for the future of WiFi sensing.

“Working with Cognitive Systems as our strategic Wi-Fi sensing partner was a natural fit. There is so much value yet to be derived from Wi-Fi networks, and we share a common interest in bringing that value to the forefront” Tweet this

“Our goal is to get WiFi Motion into every home that has WiFi,” said Taj Manku, CEO and Co-Founder of Cognitive Systems. “By partnering with Broadcom, which has a robust product and clear roadmap for next-generation WiFi, we’re well on our way to global expansion. There are endless possibilities for motion sensing, and we’ve worked tirelessly to address the gaps that exist in testing today to ensure scalability. Broadcom is committed to this same excellence, which makes us excited for the journey ahead as partners.”

Cognitive Systems’ software utilizes machine learning on all frequency bands to decipher signal disturbances in the WiFi environment and present those changes to the consumer as motion insights. The solution leverages connected IoT devices to turn the entire home into a motion-sensing network. This enables numerous applications, allowing people to make the most of their home WiFi.

“Working with Cognitive Systems as our strategic Wi-Fi sensing partner was a natural fit. There is so much value yet to be derived from Wi-Fi networks, and we share a common interest in bringing that value to the forefront,” said Manny Patel, senior director of product marketing for the Broadband Carrier Access Products Division at Broadcom. “Extensible technologies like WiFi Motion are the foundation of next-gen smart homes. It’s an exciting time for Wi-Fi.”

As a home monitoring solution, customers enjoy coverage anywhere their WiFi reaches, including private areas like bathrooms and bedrooms, without sacrificing privacy. WiFi Motion can also be used for family awareness, such as identifying activity patterns or confirming the kids arrived home from school. Cognitive Systems’ highly anticipated eldercare solution will bring peace of mind to caregivers, providing discreet wellness monitoring without the need for cameras or wearable devices. Each application brings meaningful insights to users, providing value beyond just connectivity.

About Cognitive Systems

Cognitive Systems Corp. is on a mission to transform the way WiFi networks are used. Its flagship technology, WiFi Motion™, uses wireless signals to detect motion in the home. WiFi Motion harnesses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to reliably identify and localize motion for the smart home, home monitoring and wellness monitoring markets. This patented technology is layered onto existing WiFi networks without additional hardware to cost-effectively enhance service provider and router manufacturer offerings.

By Taj Manku, CEO | June 14, 2020

Woman monitors her network from her smartphone

Discovering new applications for existing technologies is the definition of innovation. It’s an exciting thing to be a part of because it opens the door to new ways of improving our quality of life, but we recognize it also comes with responsibility.

Here at Cognitive Systems, we’ve developed a solution called WiFi Motion that uses existing WiFi signals in the home to enable motion detection. Also referred to as WiFi Sensing, this technology already has numerous applications for service providers within the security, health care, enterprise and smart home markets. WiFi Motion’s capabilities are sure to expand as we work with partners and others in the space to uncover even more uses, but not without some necessary guardrails in place.

The need for a more complete set of standards

Current possibilities aside, WiFi Sensing technology won’t reach its full potential unless stakeholders work together to implement standards around its development. While there are currently adequate standards in place that cover the core functions of WiFi Motion, a more robust set is required to achieve new and more complex use cases. These standards will help others work with existing applications and also create new ones, while ensuring consistency across various platforms.

In the early stages of working on WiFi Motion, we found ourselves explaining WiFi Sensing to each new chip vendor we worked with. This simply wasn’t efficient or sustainable. Going forward, we need a universally recognized industry definition, and a defined set of API to be used as a guideline for anyone creating chips.

Finding the right partners to move WiFi Sensing forward

As one of the first companies to develop a commercially-viable solution using WiFi Sensing, we became aware of our responsibility to help shape the development of the wider technology. To make this happen, we knew we had to align ourselves with others working in the space. There is a lot of room for development, and even competition, in this space. It’s important that we all work together to realize the full potential of WiFi Sensing technology.

We identified the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) as an ideal partner to help raise awareness about WiFi Sensing, while also ensuring it is being explained accurately and consistently throughout the industry. The WBA’s mission is to enable collaboration among service providers, technology companies and organizations who want to drive seamless, interoperable service experiences via WiFi. This made them a natural fit.

Our next step was to establish a working group within the WBA. The NextGen Work Group is the first of its kind and works toward introducing and fostering the adoption of new WiFi applications. Part of the group’s work so far has included publishing the Wi-Fi Sensing Whitepaper, which outlines use cases and requirements for the technology to be utilized in home and enterprise environments. A goal of the whitepaper is to help other companies identify business opportunities or simply grow their revenue by enhancing their current offerings with WiFi Sensing. It also identifies gaps that need to be addressed to fully realize the potential of the technology in the broader industry.

Looking forward to a bright future

We’re proud to say that we’ve gotten the ball rolling on establishing a robust set of standards that will help WiFi Sensing move forward. Cognitive Systems senior engineer Chris Beg has been an integral player in aligning with the WBA, starting the NextGen Work Group and publishing the whitepaper. Last fall Chris presented to the Wireless Next Generation Standing Committee on the future of WiFi Sensing for service providers. Up next, Chris continues the conversation with key players by presenting at this summer’s Wireless Global Congress virtual event.

Ultimately, we’re looking to engage the software community and start coming together in an open source forum to explore what is possible. By strengthening the WiFi industry as a whole, we can all achieve great things together.