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Evaluation Engineering: CES 2021: Advanced Devices, Advanced Designs

March 03, 2021 2 min read

CES 2021: Advanced Devices, Advanced Designs | 1/13/2021

One of the bright notes of the new year and decade is the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), currently going on in virtual form due to the current circumstances. One benefit of an electronic event, however, is the ability to actually navigate without shouldering your way through groups of people moving frustratingly slow.

The difference in technology between the first CES I attended in 1985 and the current event is as striking as watching a movie from the period and making fun of the fashion. Devices we consider vital to life today weren’t even thought of in society at the time beyond predictive references in science fiction, often mocked at the time for being too far-fetched. In the last generation electronic devices underwent a sea change in their roles in society, as advanced functionality enabled new social paradigms and ways of living, disrupting everything from how we communicate with one another to how we perform mundane tasks.  

The term “convergence” has gained a mighty momentum, as the ability to imbue a product with a staggering amount of features relatively inexpensively has created a new generation of smart, highly functional, and connected products. The high level of subsystem, sensor, I/O, and wireless integration is placing a great deal of pressure on the designers tasked with creating them. 

Plug-in Security

Web-enabled security solutions are not new, but they are getting ever better and more easy to deploy and use. These systems have to integrate sensor, RF, and other advanced functionality to deliver the promised performance. One product addressing this is designed with simplicity in mind, the Hex system ( Hex requires only three steps to set up: download the app, plug the modules in, and connect it to WiFi.

The Hex Home package includes two devices, a Hex Command (a surface-sitting pod) and a Hex Sense (a wall plug-in), which monitor a user’s home using RF waves. As people and animals move through the room, Hex Home then calculates how the waves change, and informs users when meaningful motion is detected. With the accompanying Hex app, users can view real-time and historical motion levels in their home, and change system modes to manage the siren and customize alerts.

Using machine learning, Hex Home has 10 digitally-adjustable sensitivity levels designed to reduce false alarms by filtering out pet and mechanical motions from things such as robotic vacuum cleaners. This digital sensitivity is claimed to be unique to Hex’s WiFi sensing-based security. Leveraging Origin Wireless AI, a highly innovative approach to WiFi sensing, Hex Home’s novel technology applies advanced signal processing techniques to standard WiFi protocols to derive meaningful ambient insights.