MIT Invents X-Ray Vision To See Humans Behind Wall Using WiFi

Posted: Oct 29 2015, 1:19pm CDT | by , Updated: Oct 29 2015, 5:15pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

MIT Invents X-Ray Vision to See Humans Behind Wall Using WiFi
By testing different human subjects and using metrics such as height and body shape to create concrete “silhouette fingerprints” for each person, researchers can use wireless reflections to differentiate between individuals from the other side of wall. Images: Fadel Adib/CSAIL
  • Researchers at MIT use WiFi for X-ray vision!

A team of researchers from the CSAIL at MIT used wireless signals for detecting phenomenon’s invisible to the naked eye.

MIT is carrying out research in X-ray visionary through wireless signals. The work is being carried out at CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab). According to the research, WiFi signals can be used to see things which are not visible to the naked eye.

The research was started at MIT by a team of researchers in 2013. The team has since then been developing the technology to track human motions. The researchers have been successful in detecting subtle body gestures and movement changes. The researchers believe the research can even help them in distinguishing between individuals.

The research paper has already been accepted at the SIGGRAPH Asia conference. The conference will take place next month. In the paper the MIT team is calling the technology as RF Capture. RF Capture picks up wireless reflections from the human body.

Since only a subset of body parts reflect the wireless signal back at any moment in time, the CSAIL device monitors how these reflections vary over time and stitches together a person’s reflections to reconstruct his silhouette into a single image. Images: Fadel Adib/CSAIL

The reflections can show the silhouette of a person even if they are standing behind a wall. The technology was also successful in distinguishing between 15 people. The detection of different individuals was 9 percent accurate.

The researchers believe the technology could prove to be beneficial for many fields, especially gaming, moviemaking, emergency response and elderly care. Fadel Adib is the lead author of the paper and a PhD student at MIT. According to Adib, RF Capture can allow motion capture without body sensors during filmmaking.

“Today actors have to wear markers on their bodies and move in a specific room full of cameras,” says PhD student Fadel Adib, who is lead author on the new paper. “RF Capture would enable motion capture without body sensors and could track actors’ movements even if they are behind furniture or walls.”

By tracking a person's silhouette, the device can trace his hand as he writes in the air. Images: Fadel Adib/CSAIL

“The possibilities are vast,” says Adib, whose other co-authors include MIT professor Frédo Durand, PhD student Chen-Yu Hsu, and undergraduate intern Hongzi Mao. “We’re just at the beginning of thinking about the different ways to use these technologies.”

The paper has been co-authored by Dina Katabi a professor at MIT. Kitabi believes the technology will allow 911 to determine the exact physical state of a person. Especially someone requiring medical assistance.

“We’re working to turn this technology into an in-home device that can call 911 if it detects that a family member has fallen unconscious,” says Katabi, director of the Wireless@MIT center. “You could also imagine it being used to operate your lights and TVs, or to adjust your heating by monitoring where you are in the house.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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