Can Wi-Fi let you see people through walls?

Wi-Fi can give us all Superman-like vision, according to boffins at MIT.

(Credit: Screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET)

Do you really wish you had X-ray vision? Sure, it would be fun to see what your neighbors are doing behind those walls — until you see something you wish you hadn’t.

Regardless, researchers at MIT have developed a sensing technology that uses low-power Wi-Fi to detect moving people. It follows other wall-penetrating sensor tech using radar and heavy equipment.

The Wi-Vi system by Dina Katabi and Fadel Adib sends out a low-power Wi-Fi signal and tracks its reflections to sense people moving around, even if they’re in closed rooms or behind walls.

Part of a Wi-Fi signal transmitted at a wall will penetrate it and reflect off people on the other side. The MIT system ignores all the other reflects, such as from objects, to focus on those from moving people only. It can determine the number of moving people in the room and their relative locations.

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