Linksys Aware uses mesh Wi-Fi network for motion-tracking in the home

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Linksys has introduced a new surveillance feature for its mesh Wi-Fi routers called Linksys Aware, a subscription which can allow some Velop routers to perform motion sensing using Wi-Fi signals, providing alerts to the homeowner when activity is detected.




Offered via the Linksys Smart WiFi iOS app, the Linksys Aware service takes advantage of the existing "Intelligent Mesh" Wi-Fi network produced by the Velop Tri-Band AC2200 routers to detect movement of bodies within a home. When movement is detected by the system, the user can be alerted via an app notification, warning of things happening in a home when they aren't there.

Linksys does not explain how the system works, but it is likely to be doing more than detecting the presence of other devices emitting Wi-Fi signals, like an iPhone in a person's pocket. Given the use of a mesh network, it is probable the technology is monitoring for changes in Wi-Fi signal reception affected by a large mobile mass of radio-affecting water, such as a human.

While it can provide a form of security for a home without the aid of cameras or a full burglar alarm, Linksys proposes a secondary use of the system in providing remote care for the elderly. Linksys Aware can also provide historical data for up to 60 days, and insights can be viewed on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis.

The level of sensitivity is adjustable within the app, to account for homes with thicker walls, a more widely spaced out mesh network, or to prevent false positives from family pets.

Linksys Aware is available for use on the Velop Tri-Band AC2200 router, which is sold in single, two-pack, and three-pack bundles, with it expanding to other mesh routers from the company in the future. The feature itself is free for the first 90 days, then will cost $2.99 per month or $24.99 per year.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Unfortunately, I’m no longer using my Velop system. Can’t use HomePods in Stereo mode  with them when the Velop towers are assigned to different rooms and Home Sharing constantly has issues. Anyone else have a mesh system but have issues with inconsistent Apple product connections? 
  • Reply 2 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member
    peterhart said:
    Unfortunately, I’m no longer using my Velop system. Can’t use HomePods in Stereo mode  with them when the Velop towers are assigned to different rooms and Home Sharing constantly has issues. Anyone else have a mesh system but have issues with inconsistent Apple product connections? 
    My friend got it but had issues. The speeds on the second story were considerably slower than the first story. When he brought the upstairs node downstairs to try to troubleshoot he couldn't get it to be recognized by the Linksys management app whatsoever. He gave up, returned it, and is trying Eero.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,200member
    The thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is how we got there. Who knew it was elective?
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 17
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    peterhart said:
    Unfortunately, I’m no longer using my Velop system. Can’t use HomePods in Stereo mode  with them when the Velop towers are assigned to different rooms and Home Sharing constantly has issues. Anyone else have a mesh system but have issues with inconsistent Apple product connections? 

    I don't have HomePods yet but I have a Velop 3 Node system.   Honestly I'm "done" with Mesh routers.   They are overhyped.  Don't get me wrong in some circumstances they can do a good job but it's clear to understand not to expect magic.    My first mesh system was a Luma and my Ecobee Thermostat stopped connecting until I swapped my Time Capsule back in.   

    Next Spring before it gets too hot I'm getting up in the attic and pulling some Cat-6 cable for the eventual installation of POE Access Points (most likely Ubiquity).  Mesh comes with its own set of quirks.  I'm going to hardwire my computers and TV and only the mobile devices and some smart stuff will be wifi. 

    Don't really need motion sensors at this point and if I did I'd probably do the Smartthings motion sensor for $25. 
    mrmacgeekwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    peterhart said:
    Unfortunately, I’m no longer using my Velop system. Can’t use HomePods in Stereo mode  with them when the Velop towers are assigned to different rooms and Home Sharing constantly has issues. Anyone else have a mesh system but have issues with inconsistent Apple product connections? 
    My friend got it but had issues. The speeds on the second story were considerably slower than the first story. When he brought the upstairs node downstairs to try to troubleshoot he couldn't get it to be recognized by the Linksys management app whatsoever. He gave up, returned it, and is trying Eero.
    I know a lot of people here don't care for Eero now that Amazon bought them—and quite frankly I wish I could end my need for Amazon after Bezos turned out to a turd of a human being—but I've had excellent experiences with them for years that I have no problem recommending them as a solid options.
    hmurchisonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Soli said:
    peterhart said:
    Unfortunately, I’m no longer using my Velop system. Can’t use HomePods in Stereo mode  with them when the Velop towers are assigned to different rooms and Home Sharing constantly has issues. Anyone else have a mesh system but have issues with inconsistent Apple product connections? 
    My friend got it but had issues. The speeds on the second story were considerably slower than the first story. When he brought the upstairs node downstairs to try to troubleshoot he couldn't get it to be recognized by the Linksys management app whatsoever. He gave up, returned it, and is trying Eero.
    I know a lot of people here don't care for Eero now that Amazon bought them—and quite frankly I wish I could end my need for Amazon after Bezos turned out to a turd of a human being—but I've had excellent experiences with them for years that I have no problem recommending them as a solid options.

    It's not just Bezos...Amazon has a high quotient of douche bag personnel.   I've walked the halls of Microsoft during more lean years and felt less dirty than learning how Amazon operated just a few years ago.   I die a little inside every time our Prime sub renews.  Holiday shopping is the only reason we keep it. 
    StrangeDayscornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,285member
    mcdave said:
    The thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is how we got there. Who knew it was elective?
    What. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,200member
    mcdave said:
    The thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is how we got there. Who knew it was elective?
    What. 
    The way to usher in this Orwellian surveillance-culture is the get people to want it and buy the products to make it happen.

    Here’s a technology marketed as affording the customer extra personal security whilst affording external parties an insane degree of personal insight. No longer will anything “stay within  these walls”. Why wouldn’t corporations & governments pay large for this data?

    I’m not sure that was covered in the book, that the dictatorship was elective.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 17
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    mcdave said:
    mcdave said:
    The thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is how we got there. Who knew it was elective?
    What. 
    The way to usher in this Orwellian surveillance-culture is the get people to want it and buy the products to make it happen.

    Here’s a technology marketed as affording the customer extra personal security whilst affording external parties an insane degree of personal insight. No longer will anything “stay within  these walls”. Why wouldn’t corporations & governments pay large for this data?

    I’m not sure that was covered in the book, that the dictatorship was elective.

    My new policy going forward is to limit products that require an account to properly function.   I have have a Nest Thermostat and honestly I don't really see where it needs to phone home.  Just recently saw a new fan hit that looked promising until it started talking about "our cloud" ceiling fans don't need clouds.   Not every cloud product wants to monetize customer data but I'm getting the feeling that it's a "in case of Emergency ...break glass and sell the data" situation. 

    Having a Linksys account for my Velops has brought ZERO benefit to me that I can tell.  My system didn't even tell me there was a firmware update until I forced a check.   My Lutron Caseta doesn't require an internet connection nor does my Hue.  


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,285member
    mcdave said:
    mcdave said:
    The thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is how we got there. Who knew it was elective?
    What. 
    The way to usher in this Orwellian surveillance-culture is the get people to want it and buy the products to make it happen.

    Here’s a technology marketed as affording the customer extra personal security whilst affording external parties an insane degree of personal insight. No longer will anything “stay within  these walls”. Why wouldn’t corporations & governments pay large for this data?

    I’m not sure that was covered in the book, that the dictatorship was elective.
    It's security software with notifications and history for the user to access, not exactly a new concept. Is there a disclosure that the company has access to this data (which seems to be limited to the presence of moving bodies within your home) and will sell it to whomever somewhere that I missed? 

    As for 1984, the whole point of the novel is that the past is unclear and totally rewritten to suit the Party’s ideological needs. It's more or less based on the idea that the course of the post-WWII 1940's Cold War got hot in the 50's and led to revolutions and further constant war, labor camps, paranoia and the rise of secret police and spy rings in communist/totalitarian governments spreading to the three major superpowers. There's nothing that I can recall having anything to do with the people willingly adopting surveillance technology that would be used against themselves leading to a fascist dictatorship dystopia as a result. Have you read it?
    edited October 8 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,193member
    peterhart said:
    Unfortunately, I’m no longer using my Velop system. Can’t use HomePods in Stereo mode  with them when the Velop towers are assigned to different rooms and Home Sharing constantly has issues. Anyone else have a mesh system but have issues with inconsistent Apple product connections? 

    I don't have HomePods yet but I have a Velop 3 Node system.   Honestly I'm "done" with Mesh routers.   They are overhyped.  Don't get me wrong in some circumstances they can do a good job but it's clear to understand not to expect magic.    My first mesh system was a Luma and my Ecobee Thermostat stopped connecting until I swapped my Time Capsule back in.   

    Next Spring before it gets too hot I'm getting up in the attic and pulling some Cat-6 cable for the eventual installation of POE Access Points (most likely Ubiquity).  Mesh comes with its own set of quirks.  I'm going to hardwire my computers and TV and only the mobile devices and some smart stuff will be wifi. 

    Don't really need motion sensors at this point and if I did I'd probably do the Smartthings motion sensor for $25. 
    I hear ya. Nothing beats wired backhaul. Built a new house this year and pulled CAT6 to all of the floors with ceiling mounted and wall mounted wifi access points. Everything Ubiquiti, everything managed, everything PoE, including all PoE wired cams. All desktops, AppleTVs, etc., wired. Highly tunable and highly configurable. Could not be happier with the Ubiquiti hardware and software (UniFi), especially the Cloud Key and security gateway. You can mix & match components to get the price/performance/functionality you want, with the lower end stuff being cost competitive with consumer grade (Best Buy class) equipment, but without the silly antenna arrays on some gear that make your home look like a SETI monitoring site. 

    Back to the topic at hand... Linksys is trying to be opportunistic by exploiting a side effect of their signal monitoring to detect motion. No big deal and good for them. The only issue I have with the likes of Linksys/Netgear and their contemporaries is based on the poor reliability and useless tech support I've experienced with them. They drove me to Apple and its Airport products and I never looked back. Now that Apple has exited this market I figured I'd be better served by just taking personal responsibility for maintaining my own networking gear. I knew going in that Ubiquiti is much more of a community supported model, so resolving a technical or usability issue requires some online investigation and reaching out to peers. I'm okay with that because Ubiquiti provides you with the tools you'll need to be self sufficient and there's an online community to tap into. With Netgear, Linksys, Cisco, Apple, etc., you "think" you're getting a company to back you up and hold your hand, but Apple is the only company that really does it, and Apple's gear requires almost no support. Good luck with those other companies. Yeah, this is my personal opinion and your experience may be much different than mine.
    edited October 9 hmurchisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    wish the article had referenced the Azure security system that also detected motion through wifi waves
  • Reply 13 of 17
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,269member
    mcdave said:
    mcdave said:
    The thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is how we got there. Who knew it was elective?
    What. 
    The way to usher in this Orwellian surveillance-culture is the get people to want it and buy the products to make it happen.

    Here’s a technology marketed as affording the customer extra personal security whilst affording external parties an insane degree of personal insight. No longer will anything “stay within  these walls”. Why wouldn’t corporations & governments pay large for this data?

    I’m not sure that was covered in the book, that the dictatorship was elective.
    Yep, it's why I refuse to install any home automation device that uses any cloud but Apple's.   Not that they are perfect, but at least they try.

    Putting home data on another's server doesn't only mean that you trust that company -- today as well as somewhere out there in the future -- but, it also means you trust that they will not be hacked -- which is really just a foolish hope.

    As for governments (particularly ours) "paying for the data":   No, they won't pay -- they'll just take it.   Likely, they already have.

    Essentially, I view any home automation data in the cloud the same way I view social media posts:   (eventually it will become) public knowledge.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    I've been thinking of moving to a mesh system so I'm kinda happy to see some of these comments that it isn't all it's talked up to be. My old AirPorts are still working just fine, I just have some areas of the house that I get slower reception in. Not terrible, just slower. Maybe I'll hold off a little longer...

    Soli said:
    peterhart said:
    Unfortunately, I’m no longer using my Velop system. Can’t use HomePods in Stereo mode  with them when the Velop towers are assigned to different rooms and Home Sharing constantly has issues. Anyone else have a mesh system but have issues with inconsistent Apple product connections? 
    My friend got it but had issues. The speeds on the second story were considerably slower than the first story. When he brought the upstairs node downstairs to try to troubleshoot he couldn't get it to be recognized by the Linksys management app whatsoever. He gave up, returned it, and is trying Eero.
    I know a lot of people here don't care for Eero now that Amazon bought them—and quite frankly I wish I could end my need for Amazon after Bezos turned out to a turd of a human being—but I've had excellent experiences with them for years that I have no problem recommending them as a solid options.
    You can do it! I used to use Amazon all the time but since getting that bad taste in my mouth about some of their actions I slowly moved away from them and rarely even go to the website anymore. When I do it's typically just as an informational jaunt. Clearly, your needs could differ from mine (and likely do) but I feel like you could at least reduce, if not eliminate, your dependence on them with not much effort or pain. If 2-day shipping is something you care about, it's not hard to find other outlets that offer 2-day shipping. Granted, it may not be on everything but I rarely, if ever, find myself paying for shipping on anything (also, always been confused on how the shipping is "free" when Prime is not free).
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    dewme said:
    peterhart said:
    Unfortunately, I’m no longer using my Velop system. Can’t use HomePods in Stereo mode  with them when the Velop towers are assigned to different rooms and Home Sharing constantly has issues. Anyone else have a mesh system but have issues with inconsistent Apple product connections? 




    Back to the topic at hand... Linksys is trying to be opportunistic by exploiting a side effect of their signal monitoring to detect motion. No big deal and good for them. The only issue I have with the likes of Linksys/Netgear and their contemporaries is based on the poor reliability and useless tech support I've experienced with them. They drove me to Apple and its Airport products and I never looked back. Now that Apple has exited this market I figured I'd be better served by just taking personal responsibility for maintaining my own networking gear. I knew going in that Ubiquiti is much more of a community supported model, so resolving a technical or usability issue requires some online investigation and reaching out to peers. I'm okay with that because Ubiquiti provides you with the tools you'll need to be self sufficient and there's an online community to tap into. With Netgear, Linksys, Cisco, Apple, etc., you "think" you're getting a company to back you up and hold your hand, but Apple is the only company that really does it, and Apple's gear requires almost no support. Good luck with those other companies. Yeah, this is my personal opinion and your experience may be much different than mine.

    Netgear only really cares about their product outside of retail.   They have their Insight software platform for the SMB space  but I still like the Unifi Network Management software much better.  Ruckus is too expensive,  Cisco is Cisco,  

    What gives me hope about the potential return of an Apple Router product is that they've never gone on record as saying out the sector for good.   Plus a vast majority of the Mesh systems use Qualcomm's WifiSON architecture and we know Apple's relationship with Qualcomm is anything but friendly.  I suppose if they get back into the game it'll be with custom hardware that is forward thinking (Ultra Wideband?) with HomeKit and more.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    mobirdmobird Posts: 316member
    Going to try the Synology RT2600AC and the Synology MR200ac, have read some good things about them. Anyone try this setup, I plan on connecting the 2 devices by running CAT6. Any thoughts?
    Wish Apple would get back in the game.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 17
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,703member
    It's not just Bezos...Amazon has a high quotient of douche bag personnel.   I've walked the halls of Microsoft during more lean years and felt less dirty than learning how Amazon operated just a few years ago.   I die a little inside every time our Prime sub renews.  Holiday shopping is the only reason we keep it. 
    You know you can have Prime for only one month if that's "the only reason we keep it," right?
    watto_cobra
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