New AI Technology Can ‘See’ Through Walls And Track People’s Movement


The much anticipated day when Superman’s X-Ray vision becomes a reality is almost knocking on the door of the human race.

A group of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed an artificial intelligence based system that can track the body movements of people even when they are behind a wall or any obstacle.

The research headed by professor Dina Katabi combined artificial intelligence and radio frequency equipped devices to come up with a system named as RF-Pose.

The system makes use of a neural network to parse radio signals that reflect human body and form a two-dimensional stick figure representing the pose of the human being.

According to the research paper published in Computer Vision Foundation, “While visible light is easily blocked by walls and opaque objects, radio frequency (RF) signals in the WiFi range can traverse such occlusions. Further, they reflect off the human body, providing an opportunity to track people through walls.”

When radio signals bounce back from the human body, a heat map is created. This heatmap is used as a reference for creating stick figures. During the development process,  RF-Pose was trained with heatmaps and images captured by cameras.

After a point when the system learned to depict the correct posture of the human being from stick figures, camera images, and heatmaps, it was able to identify the movement accurately.

As per researchers, the system would be useful in muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Another possible application of this AI-based system can be found in surveillance alarms. Researchers have not delved much into the scope of their research, but the risks involved with it are grave.

However, Katabi said appropriate measures would be taken to ensure data is collected only after receiving the consent and establishing technical countermeasures for blocking monitoring of the data.

With such rapid advancements in the field of artificial intelligence, the day is not far when the RF-Pose would be available in the form of glasses to lend us Superman like X-Ray vision.

Also Read: Watch This AI Cloning A Human Voice With Just 1 Minute Of Recording
Anmol Sachdeva

Anmol Sachdeva

Anmol is a tech journalist who handles reportage of cybersecurity and Apple and OnePlus devices at Fossbytes. He's an ambivert who is striving hard to appease existential crisis by eating, writing, and scrolling through memes.
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