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MIT Invents New Form of X-ray Vision Using WiFi to Detect Humans Through Walls

I'd settle for WiFi that does a better job detecting THE INTERNET.


Sure, X-ray vision with, um, actual X-rays is cool and all, but what about seeing people through walls in a less lead vesty way? MIT’s got some new technology that does the trick using WiFi, and it’s accurate enough to identify specific people. Brb, going to try to hack my router for flight and freezing breath.

But in the meantime, let’s talk about how the device, called RF-Capture, works. When placed in a room, RF-Capture sends out WiFi signals and detects when they’ve been bounced back by people’s body parts—even in the next room. When it picks up on our human meatbag disturbances in its WiFi-powered Force, it grabs “snapshots” of the limbs and uses a specialized algorithm to arrange them into a virtual, moving human shape. … Probably so our robot overlords can then use another algorithm to once again separate those body parts. In reality.

I mean, they’ll have all the information they need on you, what with the devices capability to also measure your heart rate, breathing pattern, and to distinguish 15 different people from each other in tests. (What, you thought I wasn’t going to make this about the robot uprising?) Luckily, the researchers behind the technology clearly see the devastating use the machines could put it to (or more realistic privacy concerns—whatever) and are also designing devices to block it from being used without permission.

As for what the technology could be used for, it’s still seeing improvements and refinements in the early stages, and there are no firm plans yet (human ones, anyway). We’ll be anxiously awaiting the superhero/buddy comedy “The Adventures of Superrouter.”

(via The Verge)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.