Bringing millimeter wave technology to any IoT device
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With the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT), many devices will be connected to the Internet, enabling digital twin and smart home applications. However, currently, these IoT devices are operating at lower frequency bands of the wireless spectrum, typically ranging from a few hundred MHz (such as RFID and LoRa) to a few GHz (such as BLE and WiFi). As a result, the current IoT devices not only place a huge strain on these bands, but also cannot benefit from the large bandwidth available in the higher frequencies of the spectrum such as mmWave bands. In this paper, our goal is to bring mmWave technology to existing IoT devices so they can benefit from the advantages this technology offers, such as high network capacity, low interference, and Space Division Multiple Access. To this end, we design mmPlug, a novel plug-and-play module which is simple and energy-efficient. mmPlug can be easily connected to the antenna port of any IoT device, enabling it to operate in the mmWave band. mmPlug is compatible with different wireless technologies (such as WiFi, Lora, etc.) and does not require any modification to the circuit, firmware or communication protocols of the existing IoT devices. mmPlug achieves this by a novel design which can seamlessly be connected to the antenna port of the IoT device. We have implemented mmPlug on PCB and empirically evaluated its performance. Our results show that mmPlug enables existing IoT devices (such as WiFi and Lora) to operate at mmWave band while achieving accurate localization, uplink and downlink even when they are more than 30 m far from the access point.