Researchers at MIT have developed Chronos, a wireless access point able to detect users’ locations within a few inches. This means rather than hotspot password protection, the router is configured to allow access from only within a specific geographic area. So for example, customers within a restaurant would
have password-free access, while passersby outside would have none.
This new WAP calculates angles relative to a person’s position. Although that’s the same method used as existing multi-WAP configurations, Chronos also multiplies time of flight by the speed of light to get distance. Unlike other systems that can require four access points or more for triangulation, geo authentication requires just one.
This reduction in hardware and installation costs are valuable to everyone, but it also opens up wi-fi technology to smaller companies. What’s so exciting about Chronos is that it has more potential than protecting your wi-fi from outsiders. It could enable similar functions in heating and cooling that would automatically regulate room temps based on the number of people and their locations. Blocking neighbors from stealing the wi-fi is just a start!