WiTrack – The See-through Walls Technology

WiTrackWhat if your entire house is a playable environment? With WiTrack technology by MIT you are soon going to achieve that. WiTrack is a motion tracking system which can “see” what and how you are doing even if you are in a different room.

So far, Xbox Kinect and Nintendo have permitted us to use our bodies as controllers. But with WiTrack antennae system movements of humans in the next room can be mapped.

From a single place connected to your computer the technology can track movements. The software and hardware are quite simple regarding such things meaning it may be better than the solid wall-challenged Xbox Kinect.

This is the miracle brought about by the radio waves which are 100 times weaker compared to WiFi and 1000 times weaker than those used for our mobile phones (1-2 milliwatts).

How it Works?

The radio waves are transmitted by four antennas and the reflected signals are triangulated by three receivers. The waves are transmitted in a particular structure, allowing for calculation of the time taken for it to reflect back. The signals taken up by the receivers are utilized to build a 3D map of what it catches up in the span of only 75 milliseconds. After this, the software is utilized to eliminate walls, furniture and other solid objects from the map, and even mirrors, excluding only the things that move, i.e. you. And you don’t need to wear or hold anything special – WiTrack just knows that you are there.

Accuracy

The accuracy of the antenna system is within 4 to 8 inches (10-20 centimeters), pretty enough to tell if somebody is moving around or lifting hand to turn on a switch, and so on.

Limitation

The WiTrack system has only one limitation. It can keep track of only a single person as of now. But soon this will be overcome as the technology progresses, the researchers’ team is confident about that.

Expectations

The creator scientists of WiTrack expect that the technology will one day be layered into current motion-gaming technology to present a more immersive experience.  

The co-director of MIT’s Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing, Dina Katabi has said that as compared to Xbox Kinect which uses infrared and so loses you if you have bent behind a couch because it doesn’t see you, WiTrack will enable you to use surrounding walls and furniture to avoid being shot, making you still part of the game.

Concerns

Obviously a device that can see through walls will raise concerns of privacy. Hackers have already done everything crazy with the Kinect; so who can say what will happen if WiTrack goes public. Katabi says that they have developed blocking signals as a solution. But from the past experiences, you can expect to pay extra for that.  

Enjoy the video of this amazing technology.

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