|Moderated by: Prof Trevor Marshall|
Prof Trevor Marshall
|For several years it has been possible to buy light bulbs with inbuilt motion detectors, so that when somebody walks into a room the bulb turns on. These have worked by sensing infra-red radiation emitted by a person's body (called 'PIR' units)
Recently, a number of "Microwave RADAR" lightbulbs have been released which emit WiFi radiation (actually it is on an adjacent frequency band to WiFi, at 2800MHz) that is reflected back off a person entering the room, so the bulb can switch on. Can you see any inherent problems with such a concept?
Luckily our Sniffers do start beeping to tell you that there is radiation impinging on you, but it might be difficult ro figure out "where from?" unless you know that a humble lightbulb might be the source of the radiation.
More and more power switches (in toilets, for example) are being fitted with these microwave movement sensors too, so one needs to be aware of the switches as well as the bulbs. Here are 3 products I tested to be radiating microwaves on about 2800MHz:
More of a worry are the wall-switches, which use the new tiny X-Band radar units available from $3 these days. These are not detected by the sniffers, although a car radar-detector does tell you that an X-Band radar is nearby.The detection is not a police radar, it is a home appliance The radiation still damages the molecules in your body, even though the frequency is too high to detect (without a high-tech radar detector unit).
I am working on designing detectors for the new 5G millimetre microwave cellphone bands, which are several times higher in frequency again (in the K, Ka, V and W Bands). It is not an easy task, but we need to be prepared...
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