The cellular industry’s shift from long-distance radio signals to short-distance millimeter waves is one of the 5G era’s biggest changes, and expected to continue with submillimeter waves over the next decade. To more precisely direct millimeter wave and future terahertz-frequency signals towards user devices, Arizona State University researchers have developed ViWi-BT, a vision-wireless framework that improves beam tracking using computer vision and deep learning.

Smartphones historically operated much like other long-distance radios, scanning the airwaves for omnidirectional tower signals and tuning into whatever was strongest and/or closest. But in the 5G and 6G eras, networks of small cells will use beamforming antennas to more specifically target their signals in a given direction towards discovered client devices, which may be contemplating connections from…

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