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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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