Cognitive Systems Corp revealed a new platform to revolutionise the way wireless signals are used. Cognitive’s affordable technology allows real-time visualisations of wireless signals, extracts environmental information embedded in those signals, and secures wireless networks and physical spaces.
Comprising Cognitive’s amera sensor, and its underlying R10 chip, amera detects the presence of wireless signals from cell towers, Wi-Fi base stations, and rogue signals, then alerts users of potential threats to their cybersecurity. Homes and offices can be protected from unauthorised devices. Public spaces such as coffee shops, restaurants and airports can protect their customers from unknowingly using unsafe networks.
The potential applications for the amera platform are limitless. Emergency location services like finding a skier in an avalanche or a lost child at a theme park are a couple of them. The platform can also be used to provide a picture of crowd movement and traffic flow, allowing optimized use of retail areas, airports, sports stadiums and other high density environments. A wider deployment of amera devices could also map wireless signals on a global scale in real-time, maximising spectrum efficiency.
Providing enhanced levels of cybersecurity and transparency, the platform detects motion using wireless signals, and identifies wireless devices connected to a user’s network. Applications built on the platform notify users when a device, authorised or unauthorised, connects to their network or when an untrusted network is broadcasting in their vicinity.
The core technology powering amera is Cognitive’s R10 supercomputer chip, featuring four wireless receivers and highly-configurable dual multi-vector processors. Cognitive designed the chip to replace hardware that would normally cost tens of thousands of dollars.
“The R10 chip functions like the human eye, only it can see invisible wireless signals that people cannot,” said Manku. “And the chip is much faster. It can respond to and report on signals in one-millionth of a second.”
amera also senses motion in physical spaces by detecting small changes in the wireless signals it receives, even through walls and in the dark. Traditional motion sensors or security cameras leave gaps in coverage for intruders to slip through. Unlike cameras, amera does not record or decode video, so there is no sense of intrusion or threat of someone hacking into private footage.
“This technology will help businesses, organizations and consumers protect their data and devices from hackers who would take advantage of weak wireless security or set up dummy networks to snoop and steal private information,” said Taj Manku, Cognitive’s co-founder. “While the technology behind amera is complex, it communicates information to users in an understandable form through a sleek sensor unit and applications that can be accessed via their smartphones or computers.”
Cognitive’s vertically integrated system also includes a high-performance cloud computing network in order to intuitively deliver the data amera gathers to the user.