Movement detection with WiFi frames

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Dr. Varga Pál
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

In my thesis, I examined characteristics WiFi signal depending on the changes of the


From the different obstructions and visibility conditions, as well as the phenomena

resulting from network load, I primarily took into account effects that are generated by human

activity. My goal was to assess the extent of what conclusions can be drawn from events in

the environment by only inspecting the radio signals: to recognize if the change is due to

human activity or change of position. During the measurements, I first tried to find out what

fundamental phenomena could be observed in ideal situations. Subsequently in accordance

with the initial tests, I studied measurements that were less constrained, longer and

randomized. Finally, based on the above experiences, I developed a series of measurements

and analytical methods for detecting changes in the environment.

The results showed that a simple, one-device approach which solely passively listens

to nearby neighbor networks can detect changes in the environment. However, due to the

minimum requirements of the system it is not suitable for accuracy and reliability critical

situations; nevertheless it can work in smaller, fault tolerant applications or as a

complementary solution.


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