MIT Device Uses WiFi to ‘See’ Through Walls and Track Your Movements

Posted on Jun 14, 2018

MIT Device Uses WiFi to ‘See’ Through Walls and Track Your Movements

Anyone who has ever been intrigued by ads for x-ray specs in the back of a comic book will appreciate the latest work out of MIT, which advances technology to “see” through walls. Using WiFi, a team at Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is now able to “see” a person on the other side of a wall and precisely track their movements, even if it’s something as subtle as giving a high five, according to new research to be presented at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition next week. Katabi told me that previous versions of the technology developed by her team were table to give you the position of the person and kind of their vague, blob-like outline, but not precise movements.

Now, they say they’ve been able to train a neural network to interpret the way radio WiFi signals bounce off a person’s body and translate it into the movement of 14 different key points on the body, including the head, elbows, and knees. Along with law enforcement applications, Katabi said the technology could be used for interactive gaming. But the team’s main focus is on healthcare applications, particularly for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.

They’ve been working with experts in the treatment of each of those diseases, where being able to monitor a patient’s daily movements and gait with precision would provide doctors a wealth of information they can’t get from a half hour check up.