Linksys announced yesterday that it's updating some of its mesh Wi-Fi routers with motion-sensing capabilities. The new feature will allow people to secure their homes with Linksys Aware, a new service available in the Linksys Smart WiFi app for mobile devices, without having to buy new hardware.
Mesh networks have become increasingly popular in the last few years. The concept is simple: rather than offering Wi-Fi access through a single router, mesh networks rely on multiple access points that rebroadcast the signal from whichever router is connected to the modem. That setup can help overcome a router's limited range, offer more consistent coverage in oddly designed or large homes and otherwise improve a user's wireless Internet access.
Those benefits alone help mesh networks appeal to people frustrated by traditional networks. Linksys Aware is supposed to make the company's mesh Wi-Fi routers even more appealing. Linksys said the feature uses existing mesh Wi-Fi networks "to sense motion without the use of cameras or additional hardware, ensuring privacy and convenience throughout a residence, making an already smart home that much smarter."
Linksys Aware purportedly accomplishes that with "motion alerts" that can be enabled, disabled and snoozed via the existing Linksys Smart WiFi app. Those alerts' sensitivity level can also be modified for people who don't want to receive a notification every time their cat enters the room, for example, or curtains rustle in the wind. Paranoid users can leave it at max sensitivity; people who want to be left alone can be a bit more lenient.
Right now Linksys Aware is limited to the Linksys Velop Tri-Band AC2200 router, but the feature "will be implemented in a phased approach on other applicable Linksys Mesh WiFi routers," according to the company's announcement. The service costs $3 per month or $25 per year after a 90-day free trial. The feature is available now via a firmware update to the LinkSys Velop Tri-Band AC2200, as well as updates to LinkSys' mobile apps.