Xandem TMD sensing technology ‘sees through walls’

Startup has piqued the interest of some integrators
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Friday, May 11, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY—Xandem is a startup company based here that’s attracted some mainstream media attention and technical awards, as well as interest among some security integrators who think the company’s motion sensor system may solve some common security problems.

Xandem makes playing-card-sized plastic nodes that can be embedded in walls, beams or furniture. The nodes form a mesh connection of sensors that can detect motion “through” walls, furniture and other obstacles.

Company founder and CEO Joey Wilson told Security Systems News that the "wireless mesh is not just to communicate, it’s actually to sense."

Xandem’s tomographic motion detection (TMD) technology is in demo kit form now and runs $600 to $2,200 depending on the size of the deployment.

One systems integrator, who did not want to be identified, is interested enough in the product that he’s planning to evaluate Xandem’s first “production-ready” unit when it’s released. “It is very early on in its development, but it would be disruptive in the traditional alarm sensor market if it matures well,” this integrator told SSN.

The system includes nodes and a processing unit. “Each node is not a sensor, the mesh network connecting the nodes is the sensor. The processing unit is a gateway with normally-closed relays that connect to any standard panel,” according to the company website.

How many nodes does it take to work?

“To cover a [5,000-square-foot] warehouse you might need 10 to 15 nodes. A small office that’s 500 square feet might only need six nodes. It’s a matter of what you want to do and how you want to apply [the technology]—the square footage and how many obstructions there are,” Wilson said.

Wilson, an electrical engineer, founded the company four years ago with one of his University of Utah academic advisers, Neal Patwari. Patwari had done some initial research on this technology. Once Wilson saw the technology, he quit his job to come work with Patwari full time.

Wilson believes the system is ideal for many applications, small and large, indoor and outdoor. Its target is commercial applications and very high-end residential.

The company has deployed the technology at a high-end residence in Dubai. In that case, the client’s concern was aesthetics. He did not want visible sensors in his home, Wilson said.

It’s also been deployed with a commercial customer here who has multiple facilities with condenser units. The units were being vandalized by copper thieves. Heat-sensitive sensors and other traditional solutions were not working. Xandem is working well, Wilson reported.

TMD can be integrated with video for verification purposes. “Cameras complement our technology,” Wilson said.

Wilson said Xandem could be used in a highly secure government facility. “The network can be set up in a way that can prevent anyone from penetrating an area, even by crawling," he said.

Xandem exhibited at ISC West, where Wilson said he heard “our price is on point and our technology is fundamentally different.” The company will be at the ESX show in Nashville in June.

Demo kits are available now. The production units will be ready in June, Wilson said.

Wilson believes the system will take off because of its simplicity. Why hasn’t someone come up with this kind of solution before? “Complicated solutions are easy to come up with,” he said. Simple solutions are not.

 

Comments

My warehouse was broken into 4 times already; I have a fairly large warehouse, but the environment if very dynamic in that large objects tend to block some vulnerable areas. I needed a solution that would capture the entire area even with obstacles blocking the vulnerable areas. No solution existed until I read this website. This technology is just amazing. I had a local dealer here in Hawaii install it and integrate into my alarm system and the system has actually already caught a burglar. Sad to say, it was an employee that knew where the blind spots were. Good news is, he is no longer employed, in jail and now I can sleep at night. Thank You Xandem for creating a fantastic product and Artelisys for the integration services.