NETGEAR has been granted a patent for a method to expand the range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices using a local WiFi network. The method involves creating a network bridge for the devices using machine-to-machine protocols, which are tunneled through WiFi communications. This allows for the devices to communicate over a larger area. The patent also includes the ability to transmit data packets wirelessly and send commands to a cloud server. GlobalData’s report on NETGEAR gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on NETGEAR, Satellite internet access was a key innovation area identified from patents. NETGEAR's grant share as of September 2023 was 86%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Expanding range of iot devices using wifi network bridge

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: NETGEAR Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11743695B2) describes a method for networking topology using small cell local area networks. The method involves establishing a network with two access points that communicate wirelessly via WiFi protocol. The first access point connects to a device using WiFi protocol, while the second access point connects to another device using a machine-to-machine protocol. The devices are then joined together using a software application, allowing them to indicate each other as destination addresses for communications.

Data packets are transmitted wirelessly from the first device to the second device using the small cell local area network and the access points as intermediaries. The data packets are in the machine-to-machine protocol and are tunneled in the WiFi protocol. The second access point extracts the data packet from the tunnel, resulting in an extracted data packet that is entirely in the machine-to-machine protocol. Commands are then transmitted to a cloud server, which includes a specification for communication between the first and second devices.

The machine-to-machine protocol used in the method can be any of Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee, or Z-wave protocols. The method also includes the extraction of data packets by the second access point and the transmission of commands to the cloud server.

The first device can be a smartphone, computer, tablet, or voice-activated assistant. The connection between the second access point and the second device involves pairing, and the communication between them can use connection-less data traffic using a generic attribute table.

Another aspect of the patent involves a method for operating an access point or network of access points. This method includes communicatively connecting a first access point with a first device using a machine-to-machine protocol, and communicatively connecting a second access point with a second device using a different machine-to-machine protocol. The first access point receives output from the first device and tunnels it to the second access point over a small cell network backhaul channel. The second access point then transmits the output to the second device, translating it from the first machine-to-machine protocol to the second machine-to-machine protocol. The output is eventually transmitted to a cloud server, which includes a specification for communication between the first and second devices.

Overall, this patent describes methods for networking topology using small cell local area networks and different machine-to-machine protocols, allowing for efficient communication between devices and the transmission of data packets and commands.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.