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Wild new Wi-Fi routers turn your home network into a security radar

Wild new Wi-Fi routers turn your home network into a security radar
WiFi signals can be used like radars, mapping out everything and everyone in your home in 3D – image created using generative tools
WiFi signals can be used like radars, mapping out everything and everyone in your home in 3D – image created using generative tools
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WiFi signals can be used like radars, mapping out everything and everyone in your home in 3D – image created using generative tools
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WiFi signals can be used like radars, mapping out everything and everyone in your home in 3D – image created using generative tools
Gamgee's Wi-Fi Home Alarm System works by recognizing the "body prints" of residents through Wi-Fi signals, and sending alerts if an intruder is detected
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Gamgee's Wi-Fi Home Alarm System works by recognizing the "body prints" of residents through Wi-Fi signals, and sending alerts if an intruder is detected

Wi-Fi security usually means keeping virtual intruders off your network, but a new system claims to be able to use Wi-Fi networks to detect physical intruders. Gamgee’s Wi-Fi Home Alarm System can learn to recognize people and pets who belong there and alert you to strangers – or perhaps even when an elderly person takes a fall.

Our homes are already full of invisible Wi-Fi signals, whizzing around connecting our phones, laptops, lightbulbs, fridges, and basically everything else that can be made “smart” nowadays. While we can’t see or feel these signals, we do leave an impact on them as we move around the house.

Intriguingly, recent research has shown that specialized algorithms can be used to analyze reflected Wi-Fi signals and detect a person in a room, even through walls. Further advances were made to differentiate individual people based on height, body shape, or even the way they walk, and counting up to 20 people in one room.

Now, a Dutch startup called Gamgee is putting that tech into consumer products. The Wi-Fi Home Alarm System is made up of a set of routers that form a mesh network, which first of all ensures a reliable internet connection throughout the house. But the other main function, of course, is that they can then detect motion with the help of built-in algorithms.

Gamgee's Wi-Fi Home Alarm System works by recognizing the "body prints" of residents through Wi-Fi signals, and sending alerts if an intruder is detected
Gamgee's Wi-Fi Home Alarm System works by recognizing the "body prints" of residents through Wi-Fi signals, and sending alerts if an intruder is detected

According to the company, a two-week training phase lets the system learn to recognize the “body prints” of residents, regular visitors, even kids and pets. After that, unfamiliar motions will trigger a notification to the user, letting them label a new guest – or alerting them to a potential intruder, even down to the specific room or part of the house they’re in. Another use case the team seems to be exploring is to monitor the movements of elderly people around their homes, and alert family members in the event of a fall.

Controlled through an app, the detection system can either be run all the time or just when you leave the house. You don’t need to carry any Wi-Fi devices yourself – it’s just recognizing everything from the same signals casting your Netflix.

It might sound a little bit creepy from a privacy perspective, but Gamgee insists that all motion data is processed and stored on the routers themselves, and never in the cloud. Still, the idea that you could review “motion history,” including which family members went into which rooms when and for how long, feels a bit unsettling.

The Gamgee Wi-Fi Home Alarm System is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, where a pledge of €295 (about US$320) gets you a set of three routers, or €345 ($374) for four. If all goes well, shipping should start in January 2025.

Check out the system in the video below.

Gamgee Wi-Fi Sensing - Indiegogo

Source: Indiegogo

7 comments
7 comments
paul314
This totally won't be deployed anywhere but single-family homes where the person controlling the router data at least has plausible rights to know where everyone is.
Randy4USA
I'll stick with the Mini Aussie intruder detection system.
Ranscapture
@paul314 I don’t even have rights to know where I am, and I swear I’m not shitting you. I won’t elaborate further.
Karmudjun
Thanks Michael. Given the widespread demand for mesh routers, I can see how this would be desirable for communications and for security. There have been very few longitudinal studies on higher frequency radio waves and human cell division - I am always concerned for technology that introduces even more constant bombardment of the body by vibrational energy. I would like to know more about the risk we are taking on as we move to wifi 7, and don't want to build a Faraday room (cage) in my house, and I'm not that bizarre - I just would like to know how much risk we are taking on. For me, no knowledge is not a point of commentary - I want info that isn't generated yet.
pete-y
Just detecting a 'strange' mobile signal would provide a low level version that would be acceptable.
Brian M
Nothing really new here, other than moving it towards a consumer product. Not sure how useful it will be though, simple low cost Wi-Fi CCTV cameras can give better information and warnings. They are very easy to switch off for privacy, the ones we use have a cover (remotely operated) that covers the lens in privacy mode which is the default mode for the internal cameras, unless out or something goes bump in the night. CCTV is also more selective in the areas covered, some areas you really don't want to cover - ever!

Both system can of course be disabled by removing power, so still need a conventional alarm system.

Rick O
Only AI could draw a house that way, lol. I've seen reports of using wifi as "radar" before, interesting to see someone actually use commercialize it.