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Smart Home

Vayyar watches over your smart home without using a camera

The 3D sensor uses radio waves to see through walls and smoke.


Believe it or not, this square can watch your smart home. It's a talented square. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

"Superman vision" sounds like a useful tool to have when monitoring a smart home. Vayyar claims its sensors have just that at CES 2018, and oddly, the sensors see your home without even using a camera. By using radio waves and a 3D sensor, Vayyar can map where people are in a room. Since it's not relying on ordinary sight, it can even see through walls and smoke.

Vayyar's sensors don't produce an ordinary picture. Instead, you'll see people on a grid, and Vayyar can track their breathing, as well as if they're sitting, standing or laying down. By monitoring breathing, Vayyar can send an alert if someone stops breathing. By monitoring whether you're laying down, Vayyar can know if someone took a fall.


This is what Vayyar "sees." Notice the outlines of people. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

The tech company is rolling out two of these sensors this Spring. Both have the same features, the biggest difference will be size, resolution, and price. The smaller version will cost between $100 and $200 (converts to approximately £74, AU$128 and £148, AU$255) and is meant to monitor smaller spaces like a bedroom or bathroom. It can tell the difference between up to three people. The bigger sensor will sell for $200 to $300 (converts to approximately £222, AU$383) and can track up to eight people. Vayyar is actually the name of the company. They haven't given either sensor an official name yet.

I had a chance to see Vayyar's sensor in action at CES, and it could indeed tell the difference between sitting, standing and laying down. The sensor itself looks quite plain -- it's essentially a white square you hang from your ceiling. Perhaps the simple design will help it blend in.

Regardless, this company is showing off a cool new piece of technology. Vayyar's take on the smart home camera is also meant to increase your privacy as it works without ever capturing any actual images of your home or family. If it works as promised, Vayyar's sensors will add an interesting twist to smart home security.

What to expect from the smart home at CES 2018: We take a look at the smart home and appliance trends we expect to see this year.

CES 2018: CNET's complete coverage of tech's biggest show.