British researchers have developed a new communication protocol that would allow you to extend the Wi-Fi signal for 60 meters: how it works
Would you like to extend the signal range of your home Wi-Fi network without having to change routers, and without spending a euro, up to more than 60 meters away? Maybe soon all this could be possible with a simple software update.
The researchers of Brigham Young University have discovered it, who have devised a new transmission protocol and called it On-Off Noise Power Communication (ONPC). Despite the great distance reached by the signal, the researchers claim that the network is also very stable and, what's more, this protocol would be implementable by most of the routers currently on the market. Without much effort, apart from a simple update of the device management software. The only downside is that ONPC would only be useful for devices that need very low data bandwidth.
How ONPC Works
The researchers used a normal Wi-Fi device and programmed it to send noise in the wireless signal in addition to data: a series of 1s and 0s, turning the signal on and off according to a specific pattern. The Wi-Fi router was able to distinguish this pattern from the surrounding wireless noise (from computers, televisions, and cell phones) and therefore knew that the device was still transmitting something, even if the data was not being received. This communication basically told the router to keep the communication going, because the device was going to send data.
According to the creators of the ONPC protocol 1 bit of information is enough for many Wi-Fi devices that simply need an on/off message to function. For example, a door opening sensor, an air quality monitor, or even a sprinkler system. All devices that simply need to send a signal to activate, via Wi-Fi, something else. But they don't need data bandwidth, because they don't have to transmit a video, files or anything else "heavy".
Great for home automation
The researchers explain that their ONPC protocol isn't intended to replace Wi-Fi, but to complement it: when the classic connection between routers and devices fails, then the ONPC protocol comes into play, which doesn't allow the transmission of large amounts of data but at least keeps the connection active. And that's enough for many home security devices, such as those just described.