Wi-Fi HaLow Can Enable And Empower A Smart Apartment Complex
Imagine if you will, a wireless technology that could reach an entire apartment complex, be fast enough for HD video for security cameras, and handle thousands of endpoint devices from one single access point. Seems like a pipe dream even today, but Wi-Fi HaLow exists and can accomplish this today. Wi-Fi HaLow empowers the smart apartment building on a scale that no other wireless technology today can.
WHAT IS A SMART APARTMENT BUILDING
Often defined as the future of city living, a smart apartment goes beyond some high-tech gadgetry and wireless devices. It is a living space that is enhanced by connectivity and smart amenities to enable a better living experience for residents and property owners. Smart apartments enable convenience, security, and flexibility for residents and can lower property management costs.
WHY WI-FI HALOW STANDS OUT
Wi-Fi HaLow offers the correct mix of range, data rate, battery life, and scalability to enable the smart apartment complex. Other connectivity standards usually fall short. For a quick look at how Wi-Fi HaLow compares to LoRa, Bluetooth Low Energy, Zigbee, and Cellular read our Wi-Fi HaLow disruption article. Wi-Fi HaLow has the connectivity features smart buildings and campuses require.
Wi-Fi HaLow delivers coverage at distances over 1000 yards, speeds measured in megabits and not kilobits, years of battery life, and over 8000 devices connected to a single access point. These specifications meet the requirements of most properties and enable a range of smart devices from a simple light sensor to a security camera feed. This is from one AP, with no monthly reoccurring costs, and the familiar architecture you know and love from Wi-Fi.
BUILD OUT A SMART APARTMENT WITH HALOW
Time to put on our imagination caps and visualize what a smart apartment complex could look like. For this example, let’s say we have 3 separate buildings with four floors and 25 apartments per floor, with a total of 300 apartments. A complex of this size would have a community center, pool, laundry room, and sales office in a separate fourth building. Well, say the four buildings surround the pool with the front of the pool area connected to the Sales Office and community building at the front and the three main apartment buildings on the other three sides.
Now that we all have a similar picture in our mind, let’s first take a look at the requirements for a Wi-Fi HaLow network for that property would look like. I will give you a hint, it’s very simple. One single access point could cover the entire property. The range of Wi-Fi HaLow would cover the entire property the biggest concern will be signal penetration. For our thought experiment, we would place the AP outdoors to minimize the number of walls the signal has to go through, however it would be possible to reach from inside one building to the other. Silex put together an indoor case study using HaLow technology to connect a device through four floors of a building. We also have a video of our testing in a warehouse environment to see the signal penetration capabilities. Depending on the thickness of the walls and the material used, it would be reasonable to imagine that one AP could reach the entire property and get a connection anywhere. Now that we have a simple network architecture in mind, let us move on to the applications that HaLow could enable.
SECURITY AND ACCESS CONTROL
Since this is a busy apartment complex with over 300 people going in and out of the buildings touchless keycard access system would help residents feel safe and secure. With HaLow it would have the range and data throughput to easily handle outside doors, pool gates, community room access, and all your basic expectations for such a system. However, we can go beyond that, with HaLow. Each room could have its own keycard entry control, and if keyless isn’t enough, Wi-Fi HaLow has enough data throughput for a facial recognition system if you were so inclined. No more, wasting staff time letting in people who have locked themselves out, and even better no need to worry about residents making copies and replacing locks each time a resident moves. Wi-Fi HaLow is also Low Power to enable battery-operated access control card readers for outside pool gates or doors without a power source nearby.
The next important part of on-premises security is cameras. Wi-Fi HaLow is taking over the consumer market for outdoor security cameras. With regular Wi-Fi usually unable to be used outside of the home, Wi-Fi HaLow-enabled home security cameras are being used today, boasting ranges of over 1000 feet and including two-way audio. Wi-Fi HaLow sets itself apart from other long-distance connectivity standards with its data throughput.
Now that you have our imaginary apartment complex safe and secure for residents, let’s move on to smart appliances. Starting with the basic smart home items on the market today; smart lights, thermostats, and smoke and carbon monoxide sensors. These devices could save money on utilities, benefits residents, and save lives. Smart lighting can turn off and on based upon need instead of just statically being on, even outdoor walkways could utilize smart lighting in places to save money on electricity. Smart thermostats could be used to save money on heating costs for community rooms and corridors while ensuring residents enjoy a nice ambient temperature. Smart fire alarms could ensure each alarm gets regularly tested, battery replaced, and help ensure compliance with local fire laws. Better yet help locate smoke and fire before it ends up being a disaster. What better way to prevent a small fire from becoming large and moving from apartment to apartment?
Extending from that you could bring on smart appliances like ice machines, commercial refrigerators, exercise equipment, washers and driers, and water heaters. HaLow can be used to monitor these devices, make sure they are maintained, and remotely diagnosed if any issues occur. The smart washers and driers can also use HaLow as a connectivity solution for a cashless laundry payment system. Due to the sub-gigahertz frequency of Wi-Fi HaLow, you could even connect to a basement laundry room.
BEYOND THE EXISTING IOT MARKET TODAY
Now that we covered the uses of smart devices today, let’s move to the potential of Wi-Fi HaLow has. It has features to push the envelope of smart devices. We will apply some of the industrial IoT applications people are looking to use Wi-Fi HaLow to the smart apartment complex. Due to the combination of range, data throughput, and low power properties, you can enable many use cases that were never available before.
Wi-Fi HaLow can be used to add remote tracking of property assets like golf carts, power tools, lawnmowers, or any other asset that is movable but remains on the property. Your golf cart could even send a video for a virtual site visit of the grounds.
Wi-Fi HaLow could be used to create an efficient automated landscaping solution. With soil sensors and a smart watering solution, you could have greenery with less water. WI-FI HaLow could be even used to create and connect an autonomous lawnmower.
Wi-Fi HaLow is being used today to connect EV charging stations in parking structures combined with point-of-sale units. It is being used to connect solar panels today, and with that could connect a solar panel array on the roof of each building. These concepts combined could be used to create a green-minded citizen’s ideal living location.
WI-FI HALOW MEETS THE CHALLENGE
Now if you are in the IoT industry you are probably thinking of some challenges that would come with this dreamed-up apartment complex. First, this sounds like a lot of devices, a lot of interference, and perhaps only possible by using expensive cellular. With Wi-Fi HaLow being built for IoT it meets many requirements and challenges set forth by IoT deployments, but I want to invite you to see it in action:
- Did the number of devices using a single access point seem like a challenge, watch our high client count video.
- Does running video over a long distance seem like a challenge, watch our range test video.
- Getting a signal through so many walls seems like a challenge, watch our indoor coverage testing video.
Have some other smart building applications you ruled out as being impossible? Couldn’t build a smart device due to not finding a wireless network to support your vision? Let’s talk HaLow. See if having the right combination of range, throughput, security, client devices, low power, and simple network architecture could fit your dream.