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Dr. Tamer Nadeem recently gave a talk on Acoustic-WiFi Frameworks to Qualcomm in Sunnyvale.

Acoustic-WiFi Framework for Smart Wireless Communication and Services

We are approaching a fundamental shift in computational era as 821 million smart devices (smartphones and tablets) have been purchased worldwide in 2012 and it is expected to pass the billion mark (1.2 billion) devices in 2013 according to a recent study. Given the prominent role of the WiFi interface in smart devices, enhancing WiFi network performance and functionalities is very essential to support the widespread use of smart devices. In this talk, I will present a novel communication framework that utilizes and integrates the acoustic/audio channel (i.e., microphone/speaker) with the WiFi interface in the commodity smart devices to enhance the performance and functionalities of the WiFi networks. I will describe the different layers and components of this framework and some of the implementation challenges. Given the unique characteristics of the acoustic signal that differ from the WiFi RF signal, I will present how we utilized the slow propagation characteristics of the the acoustic signal in designing and developing, on top of the Acoustic-WiFi framework, RF-Beep - a high-accuracy, one-way sensing, energy efficient and light-weight ranging scheme for smart devices (e.g., smartphones). Results show that the error in the estimated range is less than 50cm for more than 93% of the time. Then, I will present how RF-Beep is integrated with inertial sensors in the smart devices to implement SpyLoc - a high-accuracy localization system. Our result shows that SpyLoc can achieve less then 1 meter accuracy for more than the 90% of the time for both indoor and outdoor environments.