Wi-Fiber is creating safer cities by combining wireless tech, smart streetlights

wi-fiber city
A small company based in Camp Springs, Maryland, is using two very different platforms to give cities and communities all over America a major upgrade. Wi-Fiber was named Best in Show in the Smart City category at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and is poised to transform cities like Las Vegas with a combination of cutting-edge wireless technology and an interconnected smart surveillance network.

The company has been very successful in deploying seamless gigabit-capable Wi-Fi networks. In Ballston, a neighbornood in Arlington County, Virginia, a mere half-hour away from Wi-Fiber’s headquarters, the company has deployed Blinked, a free Wi-Fi network that creates a seamless, wireless mesh around an entire area. Wi-Fiber’s solution in Boston consists of 32 access points placed on the tops of buildings eight to 20 stories tall. The company has deployed a similar solution in such underserved communities as government-assisted housing projects in Arlington, Virginia.

The company has been very successful in deploying seamless gigabit-capable Wi-Fi networks.

“To date, we’ve seen success by listening to the needs of the municipalities, their employees, and the citizenry,” said Chase Donnelly, one of the founding partners and now chief experience officer for Wi-Fiber. “Our wireless expertise has allowed for some remarkable deployments, but we’ve allowed ourselves to venture into previously uncharted territories at the behest of our clients and prospects. We’ve succeeded to date primarily from filling obvious gaps in the market often resulting from the realities of free-market principles. With each new deployment, we’ve deepened our understanding of the mechanics  of the market, the fiber routes of disparate cities, the challenges those cities often face, and the near- and long-term road maps of their smart efforts.”

Building a better city with a single, intelligent solution

These smart Wi-Fi networks are just one side of Wi-Fiber’s plan to transform cities. What made a big splash at CES was the company’s new “Intelli-Platform,” a cutting-edge smart surveillance system. The device connects onto existing streetlight poles, and in as little as 30 minutes, connects to power lines and activates the platform’s true purpose.

wi fiber surveillance ces2018 street light crop

The modular housing consists of LED lighting with strobe and color-changing capabilities, two-way microphones, speakers, 4K cameras with facial and license plate recognition functions, as well as a gunshot detector, all with IoT, 2/5G Wi-Fi, and LTE connectivity. To round out the solution, Wi-Fiber integrated Zigbee’s IoT platform, allowing the unit to access or include virtually any device on its frequency.

This advanced surveillance system is completely modular, allowing system operators to snap in new components without replacing the entire unit. This simplified deployment saves users time and money by integrating lighting, communications, and surveillance into one unit.

A smarter, safer Las Vegas

The Intelli-Platform’s capabilities recently drew the interest of Dr. Michael Sherwood, the director of information technology for the city of Las Vegas, which in October suffered the largest mass shooting by an individual in American history. Sherwood has been proactively working to broaden law enforcement’s tool kits and is working with Wi-Fiber to keep Las Vegas safer by partnering with Wi-Fiber.

As the city grows and evolves, the platform can grow and evolve with us.

“Wi-Fiber offers more than just a lighting system,” Sherwood said at CES last week. “It’s a complete ecosystem that really allows us to look at our streetlight network as a real network now. As the city grows and evolves, the platform can grow and evolve with us. It’s a foundation for a complete sensor network to be built around it.”

In the case of the recent shooting, Donnelly notes that additional data points and a more complex surveillance platform may have saved additional lives.

“With just a single device, our gunshot sensors could have triangulated the gunshots, minimizing the time taken to locate the shooter,” he explained. “The video feeds could have offered real-time visual data on the ongoing concert and the built-in speakers could have issued auditory warnings or recommendations assisting in the fallout. The Intelli-Platform’s built in network could have served as a data offload, reducing the number of people unable to make calls, and could have fed live video or emergency warnings to mobile devices.”

For their part, Wi-Fiber’s founders look to their roots at Georgetown Prep, an all boys’ school and the founders’ alma mater, and its credo “Women and Men for Others,” for guidance moving forward.

“We look to build solutions offering a better tomorrow,” said Donnelly. “From here, our mission is simple: to socialize and realize all that is possible with Wi-Fiber’s proprietary mesh capabilities and one-of-a-kind approach to smart connectivity. Here at CES, we recognized the vastly different approach we’re taking to these core concerns held by municipalities. We feel driven to deliver, not only to expand our business but more importantly, to solve problems, to interconnect endless technologies, to safeguard the innocent, assist in the capture of those looking to do harm, and to create a better tomorrow.”

Smart Home

August Smart Lock satin nickel model comes bundled with Wi-Fi Connect bridge

The August Smart Lock--one of our favorite smart locks--is now available in a satin nickel finish. August is selling the new model in a $220 bundle with the Wi-Fi bridge needed for remote access and voice command features.
Emerging Tech

Curious how A.I. 'brains' work? Here's a super-simple breakdown of deep learning

What is deep learning? A branch of machine learning, this field deals with the creation of neural networks that are modeled after the brain and adept at dealing with large amounts of human-oriented data, like writing and voice commands.

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…
Home Theater

Still wondering why you should buy a smart TV? Here's what you should consider

If you've been living under a rock, you might wonder: What is a smart TV, anyway? Lucky for you stone-dwellers, we've put together a quick-hit guide to teach you everything you need to know about televisions with big brains.
Smart Home

May the force cook with you: New slow cooker sports Star Wars figures

We can't say it will make your pot roast tastier, but Uncanny Brands' $50 Star Wars Slow Cooker, decorated with cartoon figures of Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, and other characters, might make cooking it more fun.
Smart Home

Gas dryers vs. electric dryers: Knowing the difference could save you some dough

Whether you buy an electric dryer or a gas dryer may depend solely on your setup, unless you want to spend money to get a gas hookup for your home. But if you have a choice, there are some differences to take into account.
Smart Home

Is your smart home lighting too confusing? Intellect simplifies your controls

Leviton introduced Intellect, a new controls platform for smart home lighting. Intellect is the fifth brand to join Leviton's portfolio, alongside ConTech, Intense, Birchwood, and JCC.
Smart Home

These awesome treehouses will make you question life on solid ground

Check out these truly awesome treehouses from around the world. From a three-story treehouse in the Costa Rican jungle to a mirrored cube hidden among the trees of Sweden, we’ve got you covered.
Smart Home

Nest gets more colorful with three new options for its smart thermostat

Nest Parent company Alphabet announced this week that its Nest Learning Thermostat will soon be made available in three new, fancier colors: Mirror black, brass, and polished steel.
Smart Home

Publish a new Alexa skill this month and Amazon will give you an Echo Dot

Amazon' Alexa group announced a promotion encouraging new developers to publish a new Alexa skill in any country First-time developers who publish a new an Alexa skill prior to midnight October 31, 2018, will get a free Echo Dot.
Smart Home

LG’s Colosseo smart sofa is the comfiest piece of tech in your home

LG has partnered with Italian furniture brand Natuzzi to produce the Colosseo, a connected sofa with five custom scenarios to provide maximum comfort for watching TV, reading, or just relaxing.
Smart Home

Simplisafe steps outside the smart home with its Video Doorbell Pro

SimpiSafe is pushing into the smart home market by introducing a new high-tech video doorbell that includes 1080p HD monitoring and a dual-sensor motion trigger that combines a body heat detector and a motion detector.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo vs. Echo Plus: Which should you get?

If you're trying to choose between the Amazon Echo or the Echo Plus, then this guide is for you. It compares the two Alexa-enabled speakers in cost, size, looks, functionality, and more.