Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a system that will locate the position of a user via a single Wi-Fi access point to within “tens of centimeters.” The system is called Chronos and according to researchers, it could lead to safer drones, smarter homes, and password-free WiFi.
According to the researchers, current localisation systems require four to five WiFi access points, as they do not have a wide enough bandwidth to measure the time of flight. Chronos adds the ability to calculate the angle to an access point and also the actual distance, which is determined by calculating the time of flight. In an experiment conducted in a two-bedroom apartment with four occupants, Chronos was able to correctly identify the room a person was in 94% of the time. In a cafe demo, the system was able to distinguish in-store customers out-of-store people 97% of the time. This could lead to businesses only offering WiFi to its customers and not to anyone else. In addition, researchers also showed how the system could be used to get drones to maintain a safe distance from its user with a margin or error of about four centimeters.