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Mit's 'kinect of the Future' Looks Through Walls With X-Ray-Like Vision

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An MIT project can track a user with an accuracy of +/- 10 centimeters.

The "Kinect of the future" can see through walls and pinpoint an individual's movements.

Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have demonstrated a device dubbed the "Kinect of the future" that can see through walls and pinpoint the movements of someone with an accuracy of plus or minus 10 centimeters.

The system, which represents a person as a red dot on a computer screen, allows for three-dimensional tracking, and could be used for gaming as well as for determining when someone has fallen at home.

"What we're doing here is localization through a wall without requiring you to hold any transmitter or receiver [and] simply by using reflections off a human body," says Fadel Adib, a Ph.D. student on the project from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. "What is impressive is that our accuracy is higher than even state-of-the-art Wi-Fi localization."

The system can only track one moving person at a time, and the area around it must be completely free of movement. The researchers used three radio antennas spaced about one meter apart and pointed at a wall, but they believe they can miniaturize the bulky hardware to make it closer to the size of a Kinect sensor.

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