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9
Oct

Vizio Crave Go is a Chromecast speaker that delivers big sound in a small package


Big sound in the right package and it’s a Chromecast device!

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to buying a wireless speaker. That can make finding the one that’s right for you a little difficult. Most of us want the same thing when we’re buying a speaker — the right balance between cost, features and sound quality. Vizio comes in with the right mix of each with its Crave Go Wireless speaker.

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At first glance, the Crave Go looks like other high-end speakers on the market. You have a rounded corner rectangle, a stately two-tone silver and black exterior, all propped up with a built-in kickstand on the back. It’s clearly designed to serve its purpose without looking out of place in most any setting. And while the Crave Go is a great size to carry along on an outing, it would also look right at home in your living room or bedroom.

The sliver and soft-black rubber finish looks great and should hold up well.

A look at the rear shows the inputs for power and auxiliary cable, a USB output to use it as a charger for other devices, and the power switch. The rest of the controls are on the right side, which is convenient as they would be difficult to reach while in use had they been positioned near the kickstand. There you’ll find the Bluetooth pairing button, a volume rocker, and play/pause buttons. One thing I noticed is that the controls are spaced far enough apart that you can easily operate the speaker in the dark or without lifting it up to look at the buttons themselves.

See at Amazon

The features

The best feature of the Crave Go is wireless support through Chromecast or Vizio’s SmartCast Mobile app. The speaker is a full-fledged Chromecast Audio device which means it is capable of use in a multi-room setup. In case you’re not aware of how this works, once your Crave Go is set up on your Wi-Fi network you can stream audio from any Chromecast enabled app directly to the speaker without going through your phone. You can also start listening through Google Home or Google Assistant. I found the Chromecast feature to work just as well as it does with Google’s own Chromecast Audio products, including multi-room setup.

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Of course, you can also use the Crave Go as a traditional Bluetooth speaker for the times you’re on the go. Pair it with your phone and you can send audio out to it like you would any standard Bluetooth speaker — the Wi-Fi abilities don’t interfere with Bluetooth operation in any way. I found the Bluetooth connection nice and strong, with a range of about 35-40 feet before any noticeable stuttering or pausing. On the go, I was able to use the speaker for about 4.5 hours (less than the advertised six hours) before it needed to be plugged in.

Bluetooth while on-the-go and Google cast at home makes the Crave Go a double-duty device.

One pain point I did come across was the initial Wi-Fi setup. The Vizio SmartCast app was able to set up the speaker on my Wi-Fi network, but it never fully finished up to allow me to cast to the device using the Android version. I had no such problems with the iOS version of the SmartCast app. This was easily rectified by using the Google Home app to assign the speaker its name and could then send music out just as expected. This could be because of my network or the phones I tried, but in any case, it’s worth a mention. As is the fix.

The sound

In a word, excellent.

The Crave Go is advertised as being able to output volume up to 88 decibels and frequencies as low at 75 Hz. That translates into a loud stream of audio with big booming bass, which the speaker certainly does deliver. Over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to play music or any other audio at levels that border on uncomfortably loud without any crackle or distortion, and you really can feel a hint of the chest-pounding bass you experience from bigger and more expensive speakers.

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With the volume at full on the speaker itself and adjusted through my phone while casting, I was able to get the right amount of sound to fill a small or a large room as well as get everyone in the backyard toe-tapping and singing along while using it outdoors for a cookout.

You won’t have any complaints about how the Crave Go sounds, and that’s because it sounds damn good.

The verdict

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The Crave Go lists for $130. You can find plenty of Bluetooth speakers for a lot less. But this is not just another Bluetooth speaker.

I would buy this, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a great wireless speaker.

The excellent sound quality puts it above most Bluetooth speakers on the market, and the ability to also use it as an at-home Wi-Fi speaker with Google cast separates it from almost every other portable speaker out there. When you do find a speaker that sounds good and offers support for Wi-Fi play through Google Cast, you’ll see that the price isn’t out of line.

I have a bit of collectoritis when it comes to speakers and other audio products. When I find a good one, I’ll buy it even if I don’t need it. the Crave Go is a good one, and I’d totally buy it. I’ll also recommend it to anyone else.

See at Amazon

Chromecast

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  • Chromecast and Chromecast Audio review
  • Chromecast Ultra vs Roku
  • Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra: Which should you buy?
  • Join the discussion in our forums

Chromecast:

Google
Best Buy

Chromecast Audio:

Google
Best Buy

Chromecast Ultra:

Google
Best Buy

9
Oct

Best free Android games of 2017


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Here’s our roundup of the very best free Android games available in the Google Play Store right now.

Have some time to kill and only your trusty Android phone to keep you company? Take a gander at some of the most exciting, engaging, and free games that you can download from the Google Play Store. We have a healthy mix including shooters, puzzle games, racing, and lots more.

If you’re itching for something new and you’re able to stomach a few in-app purchase prompts, read on!

  • Stranger Things: The Game
  • Ancestor
  • Pokemon Go
  • Vainglory
  • Asphalt 8
  • Build a Bridge!
  • Hearthstone
  • Smash Hit
  • Alto’s Adventure
  • Modern Combat 5
  • Clash Royale
  • Sky Force Reloaded
  • UltraFlow 2

Stranger Things: The Game

Ostensibly a marketing tool for the second season of the Netflix series, Stranger Things: The Game is a surprisingly great game. All the characters, settings, and themes from the source material are converted into a pixel-retro action adventure game similar in gameplay style to the Adventures of Zelda.

There’s a full story to unfold as you start out controlling Hawkins Police Chief Jim Hopper, as he receives a late-night call about four missing children and heads out to investigate. Where other 2D adventure games try and use a digital d-pad for control, Stranger Things uses a simple tap control system that really works well. The game is a good mix of puzzle-solving and action, with characters to unlock and add to your party. There’s a surprising amount of depth to this game and everything feels complete for a free game.

It’s nice to see Netflix publishing games based on its intellectual properties, and they deserve full credit along with the developers at BonusXP Inc. for going above and beyond here. This game could have been filled with ads, in-app purchases as is the trend with other free mobile games — but it’s not. It’s a standout game that just happens to double as a playable ad for a TV show.

Download: Stranger Things: The Game (Free)

Ancestor

Ancestor is a fast-paced puzzler mixed with a side-scrolling action runner. You’ll need sharp reflexes and quick thinking if you have any hopes of getting far in this game.

You play as a cloaked hero who must traverse dangerous lands filled with traps and enemies — all with the help of a mysterious orb that shoots lasers. Clear the path ahead by solving quick puzzles and shooting down enemies — including boss battles — as the game adapts to your skills and ups the difficulty as you go. It’s a free game with in-app purchases available to customize your character and the laser orb, but you can also unlock all items by collecting the in-app currency during gameplay.

Download: Ancestor (Free, IAPs)

Pokémon Go

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Pokémon Go Is easily the hottest and most hyped game of the year, so chances are you’re already out there exploring your city and attempting to catch ’em all.

If you’ve been living under a rock, Pokémon Go is a game developed by Niantic that lets you find and catch Pokémon all around you using augmented-reality. It’s based on the Ingress platform, Niantic’s first breakthrough game (which, coincidentally, was previously featured on this very list), Pokémon Go is built on a nearly identical game engine. It forces you to get out and explore your neighborhood as you search for wild Pokémon to catch and PokéStops to stock up on crucial items like Pokéballs.

Once your trainer reaches Level 5, Gyms are opened up to you and you’re able to join one of three teams — Valor (red), Mystic (blue) or Instinct (yellow) — which is when the game really ramps up and turns into a truly social experience. Meet up with your friends and search for some rarer Pokémon, or team up to take down an enemy-controlled PokéGym.

Pokémon Go has quickly become a cultural phenomenon, so don’t miss out!

Download: Pokémon Go (Free, IAPs)

Vainglory

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Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games have been blowing up the PC gaming world recent years — think League of Legends or DOTA2. If you’re looking for a quality MOBA game for your mobile device, one game has risen to the top: Vainglory.

This game is the complete package, featuring all the frantic MOBA action fans of the genre have come to expect — jump into a quick match with random teammates and opponents, create your own party of friends and take on all comers, or chill offline and practice your strategies against bots. There are five hero classes featuring a total of 25 unique heroes to unlock, upgrade and take into battle. The touch controls are smooth and easy to pick up, so you’ll be able to jump right into the heat of the battle instantly. As you fight your way down the lane, there’s a significant upgrade system that branches out, allowing you to react and counter your enemies more effectively.

If you’re new to the MOBA genre, no worries! After introducing you to the gameplay fundamentals on first launch, Vainglory also features the Academy, an extensive tutorial section that will help you bolster your skills and abilities in the game. There’s also a ton of things to unlock, live events to participate in, and a bustling online community on Twitch, Jump in!

Vainglory is a free download in the Google Play Store with optional in-app purchases available.

Download: Vainglory (Free, w/IAPs)

Asphalt 8

Asphalt 8: Airborne is easily one of the top racing games on mobile right now. It skips all pretensions of realism and provides an over-the-top, high-octane experience with all the fixings. Players can work their way through career mode, can unlock new rides, can upgrade the ones they have, or can take the competition online in multiplayer. The usual race modes are there, plus a new Infected mode where players have to tag other racers before succumbing to an explosive virus.

The incredibly polished graphics and outstanding soundtrack make Asphalt 8 an adrenaline trip you won’t soon forget.

Download: Asphalt 8: Airborne (Free, w/IAPs)

Build a Bridge!

You don’t have to be a civic engineer to build bridges — although it sure would help!

Build a Bridge! is a free game similar to the popular Steam game Poly Bridge, with controls optimized for touchscreen. Each level requires you to build a bridge that’s strong enough to allow a car to pass over it without going over budget on supplies.

You plan out the bridge in an easy-to-grasp 2D interface, then give it a test run in 3D to see if it holds up. While conventional engineering standards might typically win the day, it’s equally fun to try and experiment with bridges that just barely hold together. A collapsing bridge doesn’t necessarily mean you fail, as long as the vehicle makes it to the other side — in this game, a winning bridge can be designed for one use only.

Once you beat a level with three stars in challenge mode, you unlock sandbox mode, which offers you unlimited funds to test the wackiest bridge designs you can think of. There are 30 levels of increasing difficulty to play, along with hidden levels to unlock along the way.

Download: Build a Bridge! (Free w/IAPs)

Hearthstone

Hearthstone is a free, turn-based card game that follows a familiar formula: players summon creature cards and cast spell cards based on the Warcraft universe in an effort to defeat online opponents. Every one of the nine heroes has their own unique special ability as well as a sizable batch of collectible and craftable cards. Casual online games, ranked matches, wacky weekly Tavern Brawls, and grueling Arena games appeal to varying levels of commitment.

Hearthstone is without a doubt the best free card game to come to Android to date.

Download: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Free, w/IAPs)

Smash Hit

Smash Hit is a minimalist target practice game where players tap the screen to toss a marble and shatter glass obstacles. If you bump into something you lose marbles. Lose all your marbles and it’s game over. Every section is littered with power-ups and fresh batches of marbles to keep you going. If you manage to keep hitting the marble refill crystals without missing, you can fire off two, three, or five marbles at once.

Though it’s a simple, on-rails shooter, Smash Hit’s polished physics make for a massively accessible and compelling experience.

Download: Smash Hit (Free, w/Pro upgrade)

Alto’s Adventure

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If you haven’t checked out Alto’s Adventure, what are you waiting for?

It’s a beautiful game with simple controls and endless replayability. You play as Alto, who must snowboard down the side of a mountain to collect all of his runaway llamas, dodging boulders and jumping over chasms as he goes. You can pull off epic stunts, pick up power-ups, and work to complete challenges to level up. Sick of the challenges? Simply swipe over to Zen mode and just enjoy the endless relaxation of sliding down the mountainside.

It’s definitely one of the best games released for Android in 2016, and best of all — it’s FREE!

Download: Alto’s Adventure (Free, w/IAPs)

Modern Combat 5

Modern Combat 5 offers some of the greatest shooting action you’ll find on Android. Dive into an action-packed, single-player campaign, and once you’re comfortable with the myriad of classes, weapons, and attachments, dive into a variety of multiplayer modes. Challenges invite players to really test their skill in short, specialized scenarios. For those that are really serious, Modern Combat 5 supports hardware controllers for the real FPS experience.

Modern Combat 5 is perfect for hardcore gamers.

Download: Modern Combat 5: Blackout (Free, w/IAPs)

Clash Royale

If you’ve grown tired of Clash of Clans gameplay but still love the characters and world that the folks at Supercell have created, you should definitely check out Clash Royale. Unlock and upgrade troops, build your battle deck, and take on real-life opponents in real-time battles.

Join or create a clan and share cards and strategies with friends from around the world. You’ll need to employ quick thinking and genuine strategy to win, so you’ll be compelled to keep tweaking your decks by working in new cards. In-app purchases will be tempting and are essentially required to reach the upper echelons of the leaderboards, but there’s still tons of fun to be had playing Clash Royale without spending a dime, and Supercell has done a great job supporting the game with updates and balancing.

Download: Clash Royale (Free, w/IAPs)

Sky Force Reloaded

Fans of vertical scrolling shoot-em-ups rejoice! The new Sky Force Reloaded is on Android and is better than ever!

Blast your way through nine action-packed missions as you take down enemies while dodging the attacks they send back your way. Collect stars and upgrade your ships as you try to earn all medals on each mission at each difficulty level. It’s a well-polished game from a storied and celebrated franchise, making Sky Force Reloaded an absolute must-play.

Download: Sky Force Reloaded (Free, w/IAPs)

Your favorite free Android games?

Nobody made us the Fun Police. Shout out in the comments with your favorite free Android games, as we’re constantly on the lookout for the next great time-waster.

Updated October 2017: Added Stranger Things: The Game to our list.

[custom:android-gaming]

9
Oct

Pixel Buds will not always play nice with Google Daydream


Clever tech, but still not as good as wired headphones.

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Brand new Pixel 2 customers eager to try out the new Daydream View are going to find themselves in an interesting situation when it comes to the headphone jack. There’s no headphone jack, there are no USB-C headphones in the box, and alongside the Pixel 2 Google announced a clever set of wireless earbuds with Google Assistant baked right in.

As fun as the Pixel Buds are, not to mention styled to match the other hardware you’re using, it’s not going to give you the best Daydream VR experience. Here’s why!

Read more at VRHeads!

9
Oct

Amazon has discounted the Echo Show down to $200 for the first time


This is the first drop from Amazon on a single unit of the Echo Show!

Is this deal for me?

The Echo Show is down to $199.99 on Amazon right now. That’s $30 off the normal price and the best drop we’ve seen for a single unit. Newegg once discounted it down to $210, and Amazon used to take off $100 for buying two of them. The white Echo Show is also on sale at this price.

The Echo Show was Amazon’s latest, fanciest Echo until it got undercut by baby brother, the Echo Spot. Now the Show is past tense and starting to see its first major price drops.

With the Echo Show, you get the best of Amazon’s Alexa smart capabilities combined with a display, allowing you to do and see more than before. From allowing video calls to being able to view your baby monitor, home security camera, and more, you’ll find a number of ways to integrate this into your daily life.

TL;DR

  • What makes this deal worth considering? – This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen for a single Echo Show. It beats out a previous deal from Newegg that saw it drop to $210, and since most people aren’t buying two of these things it’s better than Amazon’s previous deal that took off $100 for buying more than one.
  • Things to know before you buy! – You can pre-order the Echo Spot, which is a smaller, more alarm-clock-esque version of the Echo Show right now. You’ll also need the Echo Connect if you want to connect your device to your landline.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter

  • How to prevent your kids from making purchases with Alexa
  • How to get hotel room upgrades for free

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

9
Oct

‘Batman: The Animated Series’ is coming to Blu-ray in 2018


Batman: The Animated Series is finally getting the remaster treatment it deserves. From this weekend’s New York Comic Con Warner Bros. announced that “later in the year” in 2018 it will release the influential animated show to high-def formats. As Polygon notes, the specifics are a bit fuzzy at this point. Will the 85-episode show come out all in one boxed set, or in volumes like the DVDs before? At this point that’s up in the air. However, any package will likely look and sound better than streaming the show on Amazon Prime. Plus, every episode will almost assuredly have the iconic opening credits sequence attached.

This summer Warner released Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on Blu-ray, the PG-rated feature-length movie that takes place in the Animated Series universe. If you want a peek at how gussied up episodes of the old series might look on Blu-ray, that’s probably your best bet.

9
Oct

Walmart’s app makes the return process easier


Walmart is adding another new feature to its app and this one aims to make returning items as painless as possible. Starting soon, when you need to return something, you’ll first start the process on the app. Then head to a store, scan a QR code at the Mobile Express Lane, and hand the item to a Walmart associate. The refund will be back in your account in approximately a day.

Earlier this year, Walmart started to roll out two other app features that streamlined trips to the pharmacy and to its in-store money transfer desks. The company also started making its Walmart credit card available to customers via its Walmart Pay app as soon as they’re approved for one. And Walmart Pay has been doing pretty well. A study from InfoScout showed that, behind Apple Pay, it’s the second most tried and used mobile wallet in the US.

Walmart says that the new return process will be available for Walmart.com purchases beginning next month and in-store purchases in early 2018.

Source: Walmart

9
Oct

Red’s new flagship camera is the $80,000 Monstro 8K VV


RED’s cinema cameras are too expensive for most of us, but they do push the state-of-the-art, making future camera’s you can afford better. A case in point is RED’s latest sensor called the Monstro 8K VV (Vista Vision). The bombastic name aside, it packs impressive specs. The sensor is 40.96 x 21.6 mm, which is slightly wider and slightly shorter than 35mm full-frame, handles 35.4-megapixel stills and 8K, 60 fps video, features 17+ claimed stops of dynamic range, and shoots at higher ISOs with lower noise than the last model.

You can take RED’s dynamic range (DR) claims with a pinch of salt, but even if it’s plus or minus a stop, that would make it one of the best, if not the best, sensors on the market. RED’s current Helium 8K S35 sensor is the current DXOMark champ with a score of 108 (Nikon’s D850 is the best DSLR with a 100 score). DXO measured a dynamic range of 15.2 for the Helium, below RED’s claimed 16.5+ stops, but the Monstro 8K VV should easily best the 108 score.

The sensor launch is good news for RED, but things didn’t exactly go as planned with its large-format 8K sensor. It originally launched the full-frame Dragon VV sensor back in April 2015, but was unable to make very many due to manufacturing yield problems. As a result, many folks that ordered one never received it.

The good news is that RED will now offer those folks the 8K Monstro VV instead, giving them a better sensor for the same money. New orders, meanwhile, will be fulfilled in early 2018, the company says. “Thanks for waiting, and sorry again that it took so long to tame the VV process,” said RED CEO Jarred Land.

The new sensor is the big news, but RED also made a smaller announcement that might be more beneficial for users. It released a “completely overhauled,” less complex image-processing pipeline (IPP2), with improved color management.

Despite the company’s technical prowess, it has struggled to draw many filmmakers who prefer the look and handling of ARRI’s cameras, which dominate film and TV production credits. It no doubt hopes the simpler IPP2 process will sway those folks to its system which is, on paper, technically superior to ARRI’s system, and cheaper to boot.

Via: Red Shark News

Source: RED

9
Oct

Google also found evidence of Russian influence in US election


Et tu, Google? Search and ad giant Google has found evidence that Russian agents purchased ads on YouTube, Google Search, Gmail and the company’s DoubleClick ad network, unnamed sources have told the Washington Post. That means Russian actors have penetrated all the large Silicon Valley ad firms, as Facebook and Twitter recently revealed similar attacks. However, the Google ads were reportedly not purchased by the same Vladimir Putin-affiliated group that bought ads on Facebook, meaning the problem could be more widespread than thought.

While Google didn’t comment on the Post’s story, its sources say that the company is investigating ad buys of less than $100,000 to see whether they came from trolls or Russian state actors. The company previously claimed that Russian election meddling wasn’t a Google problem, telling WaPo that it’s “always monitoring for abuse or violations of our policies and we’ve seen no evidence this type of ad campaign was run on our platforms.”

[Google is] always monitoring for abuse or violations of our policies and we’ve seen no evidence this type of ad campaign was run on our platforms.

So far, Google has ducked a lot of the criticism that has fallen on Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg was forced to apologize for his social network’s part in Russian misinformation that may have affected the presidential election results. “Calling [the idea of disinformation on Facebook] crazy was dismissive and I regret it,” he said late last month.

Zuckerberg’s mea culpa didn’t go nearly far enough, critics say. As more information surfaces, it now appears that Russia cannily sought to exploit US social divisions, dividing voters in crucial swing states. Critics are angry that Facebook won’t reveal the Russian ads to the public, and many diverse voices are calling for tighter government regulations over the company.

Twitter, meanwhile, shut down 201 accounts associated with Internet Research Agency, a firm with reported Russian ties that spent over $274,000 on ads. Google discovered potential Russian ads by linking Russian Twitter accounts to those used to purchase ads on its own services, reportedly without Twitter’s permission.

Google’s investigation is still in the early stages, so the number of accounts and dollar figures aren’t yet known. One research group believes that the election influence of Russian groups on Twitter, Facebook and other networks has actually been massively underreported. Jonathan Albright told the Post that regular posts and not just paid ads were seen hundreds of millions of times, much more often than reported by Facebook.

Source: The Washington Post

9
Oct

Nintendo’s mini SNES quickly cracked to run more games


It appears that Nintendo really doesn’t mind modders cracking open its little retro consoles and using them for more than they were originally intended. Back when the NES Classic Edition was released, it took Russian tinkerer “Cluster” just a few months to figure out how to side-load additional games onto the system. Nintendo doesn’t seem to have made the process any more difficult on new mini SNES, as little more than a week after its release, Cluster has updated his hakchi2 tool to support side-loading extra games onto the latest pint-sized console.

You’ll still need to vaguely know your way around a PC (or at least know where to find guides on YouTube), but according to the hakchi2 release notes and an FAQ on Reddit, you can get pretty much any SNES game running one way or another. The emulator baked into the SNES Classic Edition will even run older NES titles too apparently, giving you a huge back catalog to dive into. Bear in mind that a hard drive full of game ROM files is technically illegal, though, assuming you don’t have the relevant cartridges collecting dust in a forgotten box somewhere.

The ability to add more games to the little console is even more valuable this time around, since the SNES ships with only 21 games pre-installed, down from 30 on the mini NES. Nintendo is known to be aggressive when it comes to anything that whiffs of copyright infringement, but perhaps the company is turning a blind eye to side-loading because it hasn’t given buyers any way to add new titles legitimately. Nintendo even hid a message to modders in the NES Classic Edition’s code, and if you needed any more proof that Nintendo is cool with the community, it tucked another one away in the mini SNES.

SNES Mini contains hidden message from Nintendo/NERD 🙂 pic.twitter.com/ajqYL21zjh

— Cluster (@Cluster_M) September 27, 2017

Via: Nintendo Life

Source: GitHub

9
Oct

WiFi mesh networks can detect your breathing


In the world of indoor security systems, motion detection usually relies on cameras or at least dedicated sensors. Both types of solution add to hardware plus installation costs, not to mention that not everyone is comfortable with having cameras pointing at them all the time. Origin Wireless, on the other hand, found a way to make use of WiFi signals bouncing around a room to detect even the slightest movement — down to something as subtle as a person’s breathing rate. What’s more, this “Time Reversal Machine” technology is essentially just some clever algorithmic work, so it can potentially be added to any existing WiFi mesh routers via a firmware update. In other words, security system vendors should take note.

A “Time Reversal Machine” setup consists of at least two hubs: one router is designated as an “Origin” transmitter, with the remaining routers acting as “Bot” receivers. A 5GHz signal is applied here (so it can be either 802.11a, 802.11n or 802.11ac), and to avoid interference, the signal consists of just CSI (channel state information) which is only used during mesh network configuration.

Due to the reflective nature of electromagnetic waves, a Wi-Fi signal would end up with over 500 multi-paths by the time it hits the “Bot” side, and they would arrive at different times as well. Normally, these multi-paths would be considered as the “enemies” of signal processing, but Origin Wireless took a different perspective and realized how much these signals could tell about the environment — more so than laser-based detectors, according to the company.

In a nutshell, the delay between these multi-paths is the magical property that defines the state of a room: if something moves, the multi-paths will obviously change and so will the delay. Origin Wireless’ software scans for such changes 50 times per second, and with a bit of calculation across delays plus machine learning, it can detect any motion with an impressive accuracy of 1 to 2 cm. Hence the “Time Reversal Machine” name.

Admittedly, I was initially a little skeptical of this technology (I mean, come on, it’s called a “Time Reversal Machine”!), but luckily, Origin Wireless had a live demo at its CEATEC booth. I was invited into a small room where I sat down with the demonstrator and remained still, and after a four-second delay, the lack of motion was reflected on a live monitor in front of us. I was then instructed to breath steadily, and soon after the demonstrator left the room, I could see my breathing rate indicated as a flat line on the live chart (I intentionally kept my breathing as quiet as possible, in case the demo cheated using a microphone).

As creepy as it seemed given the lack of vital sensors, I was left impressed by how much could be achieved by using just WiFi signals. In fact, Origin Wireless believes that its Time Reversal Machine can do much more than just home security and vital monitoring. Consider this: if a person suddenly falls down, the software would detect a rapid change in the room’s state, followed by a long “silence.” This pattern could be configured to trigger a fall detection alert, which is good for elderly care — they wouldn’t need to face intrusive cameras at home, nor would they need to wear sensors. Other potential use cases include more precise intruder detection (by combining motion detection and breathing detection), indoor positioning via handheld WiFi devices, asset tracking, window or door open detection and more.

Of course, I can’t say that I’m totally convinced until I get to try this technology in real-life scenarios, but the fact that Dr. Ray Liu, the founder and CEO of Origin Wireless, is currently a member of the IEEE Board of Director (and was previously the President of IEEE Signal Processing Society) should lend credibility. More importantly, Liu’s startup has already filed over 60 patents, over 10 of which have been granted in the US. If this Time Reversal Machine is as solid as it claims to be, here’s hoping that router manufacturers will start integrating it into upcoming — and hopefully existing — devices in the very near future.

Source: Origin Wireless

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