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Wireless Networks

The Wifi HaLow for the Internet of Things

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The Wifi HaLow for the Internet of Things

At CES 2016 the Wifi Alliance unveils a next generation wifi standard-- HaLow (aka 802.11ah), a standard operating on the 900Mhz designed for the low power needs of sensors and wearables.

HaLow is best described as broad yet shallow, since it offers double the range of the current 2.4GHz standard with better wall penetration and lower power consumption while providing less bandwidth. As such it is ideal for the small data payloads and low-power devices making the Internet of Things (IoT).

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Velmenni Tests Light-Based Li-Fi Internet

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Velmenni Tests Light-Based Li-Fi Internet

Estonian startup Velmenni starts testing Li-Fi, the light-based alternative to wifi, in the real world with a pilot program taking place in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn.

According to the company the technology already shows promise, as it reaches connection speeds of up to 1Gbps-- 100 times faster than wifi. It has been seen to go faster still, as February 2015 tests by University of Oxford researchers achieved Li-Fi speeds of 224Gbps.

"We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilise the VLC (visible light communication) technology," Velmenni CEO Deepak Solanki tells IBTimes UK. "Currently we have designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through light. We are also doing a pilot project with a private client where we are setting up a Li-Fi network to access the internet in their office space."

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Bluetooth Gets More Range, Speed

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Bluetooth Gets More Range, Speed

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announces the features Bluetooth will be getting in 2016-- including range and speed improvements, as well as the addition of mesh networking.

Bluetooth Smart speed is set to increase by up to 4x, while speed will be up by 100%-- without, crucially, an increase in energy consumption, even as critical applications get faster data transfers, increased responsiveness and lower latency.

The addition of mesh networking also allows Bluetooth devices to work together in order to cover an entire area or building, opening home and industrial IoT applications. The Bluetooth SIG has a group working on the technology, the imaginatively named Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group.

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How to Use Wifi to See Through Walls

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How to Use Wifi to See Through Walls

Researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab present a non-networking use for wifi-- as a means to see through walls, essentially making an X-ray vision of sorts.

Dubbed RF-Capture, the technology uses variations in wifi signals to recognise human silhouettes from behind walls. To do so it first transmits wifi signals before analysing reflections in the signals to piece together a human form. In other words, it is a little bit like a radar. It requires no wearable sensors and transmission power is "10000 times lower" than standard mobile phone signals.

The researchers say the technology (or rather, the algorithm behind it) is accurate enough to know who the person behind a wall is, determine how he or she is moving and even trace a person's handwriting in air, all by piecing together a silhouette from the reflected wifi signals.

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Linux Light Bulbs for LED-Based Communications

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Linux Light Bulbs for LED-Based Communications

Disney Research presents a means for enable gadgets to communicate with each other inside smart indoor environments-- the Linux Light Bulb, an LED flashing out data using visible light.

The technology, dubbed Visible Light Communication (VLC) is not actually new. What the Disney researchers add is an IP stack and other networking protocols inside a Linux-based VLC system-on-a-chip (SoC) one can integrate into existing LED lamps.

Such a means of communications bypasses other wireless channels used in the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), such as ZigBee, wifi or Bluetooth, and can be supported by any device able to switch an LED on and off.

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