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It could be used in rescue missions, police searches and even video games

Have you always wanted X-ray vision? MIT researchers have developed something similar, but not exactly what you remember from Superman comics.

An MIT research team -- led by Dina Katabi, a professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science -- has developed a low-power and portable device that allows you to detect people through walls and closed doors.

The new system is called "Wi-Vi," and it differs from other X-ray vision-like devices because it doesn't require equipment that is too large to carry, and it doesn't require a part of the electromagnetic spectrum reserved only for the military.

Wi-Vi, as you can probably guess from its name, is capable of transmitting a low-power Wi-Fi signal to track moving beings on the other side of a wall.
 


It works like this: Wi-Vi uses two transmit antennas and one receiver. Both antennas transmit the same signals, except one is the inverse of the other. This means that they cancel each other out when they hit static objects, because they create identical reflections. However, when a person is moving on the other side of the wall, the reflections change according to the movement. Put more simply, when the reflections are identical, its a static object; when they change, it's a moving person, thus can be detected through a wall and distinguished from objects like a table.  

As a person moves around the room on the other side of the wall, their distance from the receiver also changes, and the system calculates where they are based on the time it takes for the reflected signal to hit the person and travel back to the receiver.

This new tech could have a wide range of uses, such as rescuers trying to find people trapped in a disaster area; police searching a building for criminals; video game gestures, and even the general public for when they're walking in dangerous areas or at night. 

Source: MIT News



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RE: Wide Variety of Uses Indeed
By chiguy2891 on 7/2/2013 12:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
the courts have already ruled that using heat sensors to search a private residences is illegal without a warrant so i don't see how this will be allowed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyllo_v._United_State...


RE: Wide Variety of Uses Indeed
By jimbojimbo on 7/2/2013 1:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
That was in 2001 before all the new laws got put in allowing the feds to do pretty much whatever they want in the name of homeland security. I'm sure that ruling won't fly anymore.


RE: Wide Variety of Uses Indeed
By chiguy2891 on 7/2/2013 2:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
that case was taught by a federal prosecutor in my criminal procedure class in law school last year. it's still valid.


RE: Wide Variety of Uses Indeed
By ven1ger on 7/2/2013 3:25:56 PM , Rating: 1
That may be true for the local police, but when it comes to national security, your rights are pretty much gone.

Was watching a rerun of an episode of The Closer, and in it they had a suspect who was being difficult, and then they called in the FBI alleging that maybe the suspect may be linked to some terrorist group, and the FBI person was able to listen in to the conversation between the suspect and his lawyer. I'm not saying it's true but we really need to understand is that what we once thought we understood how the justice system worked, may no longer be the same because of things like the Patriot Act.


RE: Wide Variety of Uses Indeed
By tng on 7/2/2013 1:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
So they say "Your Honor, we suspect that _____, based on statements that _____ overheard the suspect say..."

Not hard to find probable cause if they really want to do it. At least that is what one of my cop relatives say. He always said if they know something that can't be used they have creative ways to get around it.


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