Smart Home Sensor Sees Through Walls
Matthew Greenwood posted on October 26, 2018

An aging population has increased demand for smart devices that can allow seniors to live safely and independently in their homes.

Many personal emergency response systems rely on a “panic button” device on a necklace or wristband, or installed on a smartphone, that the wearer can press if there is an accident. But those systems break down if the wearer is unconscious, in shock, is too injured to press the button or simply forgets to wear the device.

Vayyar Imaging believes it has a solution in its Walabot Home, a smart home sensor that doesn’t rely on a panic button. The Walabot is a 3D imaging sensor that uses low-power radio waves to detect motion through obstacles like walls in real time. It tracks the location, movement, posture and vital signs of people in the home—and is so sensitive that it can even monitor breathing during sleep. It keeps track of daily activity patterns, identifying when those patterns change or deteriorate—such as when they fall down.

Since it is a 3D imaging technology rather than a camera, it works in all sorts of conditions from complete darkness to smoke to fog. And since it isn’t a camera, it mitigates the privacy concerns that accompany security cameras. Not using a camera also means it can run continuously, night and day.

In emergency situations, it can detect intruders and identify suspicious activities in the home. It even knows the location and condition of occupants in the case of a fire or disaster, and it can relay the information to emergency responders and loved ones.

In addition, it can replicate many of the functions of today’s conventional smart home gadgets such as optimizing lighting, regulating home temperature and controlling appliances. It can also act as a maintenance advisor, monitoring the things that should be inside the walls like wires and pipes—and the pests that shouldn’t be there. These measures could help seniors live more independently by avoiding expensive and inconvenient home repair emergencies.

Automated fall detection devices already exist on the market today—but many still require the user to wear a sensor on their body to detect a fall, which can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. The Walabot eliminates the wearable component, operating in the background like a smoke detector or smart thermostat.

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the elderly population in the country will double in the first half of this century, reaching 80 million by 2050. Devices like the Walabot Home promise to help seniors live safer and more independent lives—giving them and their families peace of mind.

Find out more about the latest in home sensor technology at No More “Nuisance Trips” with Smart Power Outlets for Smart Homes.