Can Wi-Fi signals enable us to see through walls? For many years humans have fantasized
about X-ray vision and played with the concept in comic books and sci-fi movies. This
project explores the potential of using Wi-Fi signals and recent advances in MIMO
communications to build Wi-Vi, a device that can capture the motion of humans behind a
wall and in closed rooms.
What Can Wi-Vi Do?
- Detect the Number of Moving Humans in a Closed Room
Wi-Vi allows us to detect presence of a moving human in a closed room. It can also
can determine with high accuracy up to 3 moving objects.
- Determine the Relative Locations of Moving Humans
The technology can also determine the motion of different persons in a closed room.
It can answer questions such as: Is the person moving towards the device or away
from it? What is the angle of motion of a person inside a closed room relative to
the location of WiVi?
- Enable Communication through a Wall without Carrying a Wireless Device
Wi-Vi is both a transmitter and a receiver. A human can communicate with it using
simple gestures without carrying or wearing any wireless device.
- Identify Simple Gestures from Behind a Wall
Wi-Vi can detect very simple gestures made through a wall, making it the first
through-wall gesture-based interface.
What are the Applications of Wi-Vi?
- Law enforcement: Law enforcement personel can use the device to avoid walking into an
ambush, and minimize casualities in standoffs and hostage situations.
- Emergency situations: Emergency responders can use it to see through rubble and
- Personal Security: Common users can use it for intrusion detection, or when stepping
into dark alleys and unknown places.
- Smart Sensing: Wi-Vi can be extended to sense motion in different parts of a building
and allow automated control of heating/cooling and lighting systems.
- User Interface Design: The technology may also be leveraged in the future to enable
controlling household appliances via gestures, and non-invasive monitoring of children and elderly.
- Entertainment: It enables a new dimension for input-output devices in gaming which
does not suffer from occlusion and works in non-line-of-sight.