LAS VEGAS — At CES this week, WiFi solutions vendor Plume unveiled a clever new home automation technology that it believes will enable its cable operator clients to further extend services into emerging areas such as home security and aging in place.
The technology, which Plume calls Plume Motion essentially turns any smart device in the home—whether it be a light fixture or a thermostat—into a motion sensor, detecting changes in WiFi radio waves caused by motion in the house. The technology is capable of telling users when and where in the home the motion is taking place.
The feature is powered by software from Plume technology partner Cognitive Software, which can be provided as an upgrade to existing Plume mesh WiFi hardware.
Speaking to Multichannel News after Plume’s CES presentation, company co-founder and CEO Fahri Diner, admitted to being initially skeptical about the potential of Plume Motion when his product development team first pitched him the idea. He said he quickly came to realize the potential of the technology to detect, say, when a burglar has entered a home, or if parents simply want to monitor if their children have returned safely from school.
One potentially exciting application is aging place. Diner said operator clients in Japan, which has a fast-growing aging in place population, are particularly excited about a technology that would let adult children more effectively monitor their aging parents.
In Japan, Plume notably serves J Comm, but it has Tier 1 operator clients all over the globe. Both Comcast and Liberty Global have backed the Palo Alto-based startup, which also counts Charter Communications, Vodaphone, Bell Canada and Armstrong Communications as clients, as well.
Pioneering open sources WiFi management software tools such as OpenSync, Plume is a leader in the Smart Home 2.0 initiative, a movement to develop cloud-based, data-centric tools for the future of home automation.