Programmable radio environments for smart spaces

Allen Welkie, Longfei Shangguan, Jeremy Gummeson, Wenjun Hu, Kyle Jamieson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

37 Scopus citations


Smart spaces, such as smart homes and smart offices, are common Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios for building automation with networked sensors. In this paper, we suggest a different notion of smart spaces, where the radio environment is programmable to achieve desirable link quality within the space. We envision deploying low-cost devices embedded in the walls of a building to passively reflect or actively transmit radio signals. This is a significant departure from typical approaches to optimizing endpoint radios and individual links to improve performance. In contrast to previous work combating or leveraging per-link multipath fading, we actively reconfigure the multipath propagation. We sketch design and implementation directions for such a programmable radio environment, highlighting the computational and operational challenges our architecture faces. Preliminary experiments demonstrate the efficacy of using passive elements to change the wireless channel, shifting frequency "nulls" by nineWi-Fi subcarriers, changing the 2×2 MIMO channel condition number by 1.5 dB, and attenuating or enhancing signal strength by up to 26 dB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHotNets 2017 - Proceedings of the 16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450355698
StatePublished - Nov 30 2017
Event16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2017 - Palo Alto, United States
Duration: Nov 30 2017Dec 1 2017

Publication series

NameHotNets 2017 - Proceedings of the 16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks


Other16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPalo Alto

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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