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Wi-Fi Signals Allow Gesture Recognition All Through the Home

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the physical-input-devices-are-passe dept.

Input Devices 122

vinces99 writes "Forget to turn off the lights before leaving the apartment? No problem. Just raise your hand, finger-swipe the air and your lights will power down. Want to change the song playing on your music system in the other room? Move your hand to the right and flip through the songs. University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology that brings this a step closer to reality. They have shown it's possible to use Wi-Fi signals around us to detect specific movements without needing sensors on the human body or cameras. By using an adapted Wi-Fi router and a few wireless devices in the living room, users could control their electronics and household appliances from any room in the home with a simple gesture."

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What about false positive gesture recognition (4, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#43908153)

The last think I want it the system to detect me fapping and turn the tv to CSPAN and turn all the lights on!

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43908279)

The last think I want it the system to detect me fapping and turn the tv to CSPAN and turn all the lights on!

No, but you might want it to react that way when you're rushing to hide your boner from your mom, who just walked through the door.

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43908389)

What, a trebuchet? That can really hurt aiming down there.

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908481)

CanHasDIY: "This isn't what it looks like!"
CanHasDIYs mom: "I sure hope so because it looks like you are jerking off to CSPAN"

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (0)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#43908809)

You have won the internet with that comment. The game is now over.

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (4, Funny)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#43909113)

CanHasDIYs mom: "I sure hope so because it looks like you are jerking off to CSPAN"
CanHasDIY: "No Mom. They call it journalism now."

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43910103)

Man, there's nothing to say after that.

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908495)

The gesture for that is the Jedi mind trick wave. You saw nothing. I was never here.

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (2)

bp+m_i_k_e (901456) | about a year ago | (#43908405)

The first malware will turn on your webcam when such fapping is detected.

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908531)

Speaking of nerdgasms, I'm having one.
Maybe in 20 years, kids will be going to gesture recognition classes where they perform karate kicks to learn how to control their houses as well as any services offered in the building they're in. Need an elevator? Judo-chop! A non-keyboard interface for those pesky ocular implants? Five-Palm-exploding-heart punch! These will be combined with voice recognition to reduce ambiguity and to function in locations that are deficient in wifi or that have too many users.

Re: What about false positive gesture recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908889)

haha

Re:What about false positive gesture recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909123)

Be strong and remain master of your domain.

"Machine Learning" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908157)

They use "machine learning" to train the computer to recognize each gesture. You'll have to retrain the computer every time you change position of yourself or any object near you. It's a cute parlor trick, but nothing like what a real radar could do.

Re:"Machine Learning" (1)

Nimatek (1836530) | about a year ago | (#43908671)

That's not how machine learning works.

Re:"Machine Learning" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908863)

They use "machine learning" to train the computer to recognize each gesture. You'll have to retrain the computer every time you change position of yourself or any object near you. It's a cute parlor trick, but nothing like what a real radar could do.

Wow, seriously? UW has some of the top Machine Learning faculty now. If you really think the best they can do is diff a bunch of patterns, you are badly mistaken.

Well, if your concept of learning lacks generalization, I suppose you won't really gain anything from me pointing out your error. You will just make the same mistake unless we teach you for every single example...

if any random movements can turn on/off electronic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908159)

Didn't the hitchhiker's guide have something like this? Once you got your environment the way you wanted it then you couldn't move or you ended up resetting everything?

Re:if any random movements can turn on/off electro (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about a year ago | (#43908327)

I think the motion was going to change the radio station...

In other news: DOJ demands back doors (2)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year ago | (#43908161)

Wouldn't the DOJ just LOVE this if they could force manufacturers to give them remote access. With a warrant, of course (wink wink!) Is there nothing in a modern house that can't be re-purposed to spy on us anymore?

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43908195)

Wouldn't the DOJ just LOVE this if they could force manufacturers to give them remote access. With a warrant, of course (wink wink!) Is there nothing in a modern house that can't be re-purposed to spy on us anymore?

Why would they have to force them? If history is anything to go by, your ISP will bake the function voluntarily into their dreadful CPE shit so that they can sell the data for advertising purposes, at which point the feds can just ask them for it...

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year ago | (#43908217)

Good point. I think I'm just going to go find a nice cozy cave to live in. Wait, that hasn't worked out so well for other people lately either. Damn.

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (1)

maharvey (785540) | about a year ago | (#43908311)

No problem for the watchdogs. They'll figure out how to do this with cellular signals and keep and eye on the whole city. Though a cave might offer useful shielding... hmm...

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908455)

It is notoriously difficult to find Batman when he's hiding in a cave..

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43908503)

Screw caves, just wear a tinfoil hat!

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43908475)

That was Linksys, not the ISPs.

Assign blame where its due.

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908349)

Would you also be concerned about an Internet-enabled fridge?

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (5, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43908449)

Wouldn't the DOJ just LOVE this if they could force manufacturers to give them remote access. With a warrant, of course (wink wink!) Is there nothing in a modern house that can't be re-purposed to spy on us anymore?

The DOJ doesn't need access to the lights and appliances in your home to keep track of you when the power company's smart meter will give them nearly the same information. With detailed power usage, they can easily tell when you're at home, when you go to bed, when you wash your clothes, etc.

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (1)

Nullsmack (189619) | about a year ago | (#43910595)

oh not this bullshit again

Hey I have a hot conspiracy idiocy for you. Barcodes are the mark of the devil! As soon as they get out of the research labs in a few years they will send all of us straight to hell sonny boy.

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43911043)

I'm not sure what part of grandparent's post do you think is a conspiracy theory. I work (DBA/developer) for the local power company (not in the USA). About a year ago, the country government demanded all our detailed cross-referenced info on our clients energy usage and geographical location, and we gave it to them (not like we had many options, democracy around here is still rather feeble and our current government is rather aggresive sometimes).

Now, we still have older meters that only give you a single number every time you read them (in person, not remotely), but we have already started limited trials of new smart meters that give us more detailed usage info, as well as allow for remote reading. It will be still at least a decade before these new meters are deployed state-wide, but what do you think will happen then? The government will ask for that info as well, and we will give it to them.

If the info is out there, and there aren't proper laws in place preventing them from doing it, the government will have access to it.

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (5, Interesting)

anubi (640541) | about a year ago | (#43908491)

Ummm... the government already has this technology. It does not need your WiFi. Any radio or TV station does fine as a signal source to illuminate the area with an RF field.

I am sure you have noticed if you have ever used a rabbit ear TV antenna that your TV became quite sensitive to where people were in the room. Even changing your position on the bed was quite noticeable if you were trying to receive a weak signal.

By using multiple antennas, triangulation, and signal processing to correlate the signal each antenna received, it is quite do-able to triangulate onto anything moving in the RF field, and determine each moving things position, velocity, direction, and acceleration.

This is quite useful for "seeing" what's on the other side of opaque walls. Light does not make it through the wall, but RF does.

Its a fascinating thing to see these things work. I have a hankering to build a 3D version of one being 3D glasses are becoming available that do not require me to lug around a huge display screen.

Rudimentary ones can be built with little more than the business end of the 10.525 GHz microwave source commonly used for supermarket door sensors. [aliexpress.com]

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909037)

Any radio ...

The wavelength for radio is kind of large, and while you standing right next to an antenna can have some near field effects, it would be quite difficult to resolve what someone is doing more than a couple wavelengths away.

...or TV station

At least UHF has a more reasonable wavelength, but it would still seem impressive to tell what is going on from outside a house, instead of just that something changed in a particular room. The work discussed in the article here would at least be using shorter wavelengths, with much shorter distances to transmitters and receivers.

I have a hankering to build a 3D version of one being 3D glasses are becoming available that do not require me to lug around a huge display screen.

Maybe before worrying about a flashy front end, make (or link to...) some thing demonstrating just how doable it is for a random hacker... as making a prettier output should be the easy part, not what is holding up such a project.

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43908941)

Sounds like we will be putting tinfoil hats on our routers in future. There's a Soviet Russia joke in there somewhere.

Re:In other news: DOJ demands back doors (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43909039)

I'm thinking of the plot point in The Dark Knight wherein Lucius Fox gives Wayne the ability to effectively become omnicient via cell phones and etc.

The 1920s called... (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#43908169)

...Leon wants his Theremin back.

I can't wait (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43908181)

Think of all the gestures that could trigger Marvin Gaye songs and soft lighting.

But more disconcerting ins the fact that even if rolled out with the best of intentions, this will inevitably lead to parents, flatmates, and siblings using it to spy on each other in some way.

Re:I can't wait (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43908253)

Given that wifi punches through walls reasonably adequately, for most values of 'wall', you wouldn't really have to share a residence with somebody, it would likely work on at least the adjacent houses or apartments if sited correctly.

A vehicle could presumably also scan a building for movement from outside. Possibly even get decent location accuracy with some directional antenna tricks...

Re:I can't wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908335)

I would be surprised if surveillance vans didn't already have some kind of more precise device that doesn't interfere with a usable spectrum to detect movement. Heartbeat sensor anyone?

Re:I can't wait (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43908597)

This is real life, not Call of Duty.

How are you supposing a heartbeat sensor would work?

Re:I can't wait (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about a year ago | (#43908899)

How are you supposing a heartbeat sensor would work?

Microsoft says the Xbox One [theregister.co.uk] can monitor your heartbeat using just the camera.

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909061)

Even cheap webcams can pick up color changes from blood flow. Although in a lot of situations, if you already have a person visible on camera, you no longer have need for a heartbeat sensor, and that trick doesn't work through opaque walls...

Re:I can't wait (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about a year ago | (#43910439)

Like this?
www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=223320&dfpPParams=aid_223320&dfpLayout=article

Re:I can't wait (1)

maharvey (785540) | about a year ago | (#43908343)

Just wait till Google upgrades their van and offers X-ray Street View! The pr0n industry won't like it when you can just get a free live Google feed from your hot neighbors' house. Though sadly, none of my neighbors are hot.

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909033)

Like it difficult to see naked people on the internet for free.

and the p0rn industry soldiers on.

Re:I can't wait (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#43910157)

How do they even make money anymore? Advertising?

Re:I can't wait (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43908507)

The Supreme Court already ruled government needed warrants to use IR detectors on houses. One presumes the inevitable case would result in the same thing.

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909285)

Don't presume. At one time the SCOTUS rule separate but equal was unconstitutional, then reversed the decision.

that is cool! (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43908183)

Can you imagine? who needs a remote control? now, if only you could have a few WI-FI control robots to answer the door and throw away the garbage.. :)

Gift for noisy neigbours. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908205)

Oh Hi! I noticed that you like play industrial metal goth core all night long. I support your habit, and will give you this fancy Wi-Fi router that connects to you amp and allows remote control from everywhere!

Now I can turn the your music up from my apartment, so I can hear it better ya know.

Triggered by gestures anywhere in the home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908273)

In this way, a smart home could become a reality, allowing you to turn off the oven timer with a simple wave of the hand, or turn on the coffeemaker from your bed.

I don't understand it; whenever the mailman shows up to give mom a special delivery in her room, the coffeemaker suddenly starts turning on---off---on--off--on-off-on-off-on-off---on-----off.

Why not an app? (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43908283)

Few people have an app or web page to control their home appliances, but we're supposed to believe that we want gesture control?

Home automation is nothing new and there are certainly people that *can* control their home lighting and appliances remotely, but few even bother because it's not that useful in practice.

If I forget to turn off the lights when I leave the house, I'm probably not going to remember that the lights are on when I'm at the office and turn them off from there. I'd be better off with a smarter house that turns on the appropriate level of lighting when I walk in a room and turn off all the lights and appliances for me when I leave.

Gesture based music control would probably be more handy than remote lighting control.

Re:Why not an app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908393)

but remote lightning control of say guests that stayed too long etc would be a nice thing or?

Re:Why not an app? (2)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#43908433)

Some more interesting things:

Turn off/down AC/Heat till calculated time it takes to reach desired temp before you arrive back home. Apps can help tie in gps tracking and calendar info for starters.

Same thing for blinds and other window treatments.

Start the kettle (coffee maker for those thus inclined) so that it ready at desired time.

Overall we need more standard API's on devices and less attempts to make smart ones. Would rather upgrade software/hardware on a single controlling device than all my appliances.

Re:Why not an app? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43909009)

Remote appliance control is moderately popular in Japan, where major manufacturers like Panasonc, Toshiba and Sharp have been putting it in their products for a few years now. Actually way back in 2004 I remember seeing a Toto bath that could be commanded to fill remotely so it would be ready when you got home from work, and these days it is becoming a more common feature on air conditioning units.

If I forget to turn off the lights when I leave the house, I'm probably not going to remember that the lights are on when I'm at the office and turn them off from there.

Current systems usually give you a dashboard app that gives you can overview of all your devices, so if you checked it now and then you would notice your mistake. The Android versions sometimes support widgets so you can see right from your home screens.

In the future I'd expect something like Google Now that just figures out when you probably want the lights off based on your habits and reminds you if you forget, or just does it automatically.

The Force? (4, Funny)

Jhon (241832) | about a year ago | (#43908289)

So... maybe "The Force" or "magic" is just an accumulation of old wifi products?

Re:The Force? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43908413)

So... maybe "The Force" or "magic" is just an accumulation of old wifi products?

The Greys posing as Moses? the sneaky bug-eyed devils.

"Behooollld, the sea parteth!" (Swooooosh!)

Re:The Force? (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#43908421)

Orson Scott Card actually wrote a series like that, where everyone believed in magic, but it was actually a mind-reading computer in a satellite, that the civilization had long since forgotten about. Was a neat idea, even if the later books got increasingly, annoyingly mystical and lost sight of the "this is supposed to actually be sci-fi" (a problem later books in Card series often fight with...)

Re:The Force? (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43908513)

Orson Scott Card actually wrote a series like that, where everyone believed in magic, but it was actually a mind-reading computer in a satellite, that the civilization had long since forgotten about. Was a neat idea, even if the later books got increasingly, annoyingly mystical and lost sight of the "this is supposed to actually be sci-fi" (a problem later books in Card series often fight with...)

I was given a Magic Wand remote control for Xmas. It's a standard IR learning remote in the shape of the stereotypical wizard's implement with accelerometers that allow it to distinguish about 11 different types of gestures.

One of the nice things about Linux is that it's quite easy to wire just about any function you want into an IR sensor daemon. Or if you prefer, a Wii Remote, which does essentially the same thing, only via Bluetooth.

Then again, jack in a Kinect and you can use a #2 pencil for the same tricks.

Re:The Force? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43910639)

spoiler alert There's also a pretty decent Anime with that as the theme called Scrapped Princess. /spoiler When I saw the reveal I applauded.

Clarke's three laws (2)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year ago | (#43908509)

And here is one now:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

There's something... (1)

YeTr2 (1710486) | about a year ago | (#43908295)

There's something in the Wi-Fi. This whole world is swimming in Wi-Fi. We're living in a Wi-Fi soup. Suppose something got inside it... suppose there was something living in the Wi-Fi harvesting human minds! Imagine that.

Re:There's something... (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#43908387)

Pass the bong.

Re:There's something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908859)

You fail at Dr. Who references. Turn in your geek card at the door on your way out.

Re:There's something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908415)

There's something in the Wi-Fi. This whole world is swimming in Wi-Fi. We're living in a Wi-Fi soup.
Suppose something got inside it... suppose there was something living in the Wi-Fi harvesting human minds!
Imagine that.

> Allwhoseethis(ignore_lastpost:thispost)
> Targetmind(YeTr2)
> Execute(yum_yum_yum)
> Incinerate(Body,SpontaneousCombustion)
> DeleteAllWebEvidence(YeTr2)

>profit!

Re:There's something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908691)

Nice quote :-)

re: hand gesturing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908321)

This feature will not be made available in Italy.

Douglas Adams, always before his time (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908355)

A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wave bands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive--you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.

Zaphod waved a hand and the channel switched again.

Re:Douglas Adams, always before his time (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43908911)

Douglas Adams, always before his time

Sadly true, in the end. He nailed with that bit you've quoted though. Practically prior art for Kinect.

Where's the ethics of people who write this stuff? (2)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43908391)

"I've written new software that can use the wifi signals bouncing around in your home to help you change channels on your TV, or possibly give surreptitious surveillance to any law enorcement agency that can get a bullshit warrant from a rubber stamp judge. We promise it will only be used to help you change the TV channel."

Do programmers even filter this stuff through their conscience any more?

.

Re:Where's the ethics of people who write this stu (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908473)

You don't already set your wi-fi routers to active countersurveillance doppler scrambling mode? All mine continuously inject few-Hz distortions into the transmissions that simulate a large crowd constantly milling about the house; distinguishing actual individuals is practically impossible. Heater wires in the walls to scramble thermal signatures help, too, and applying vibration transducers on all windows defeats laser microphone pickups with a constant background of random mixed voice fragments. Faraday cages on inner rooms is the only way to defeat more active scanning; but then the surveillors give away their presence, too. Remember, only *real* tinfoil works for EEG-blocking hats --- the aluminium stuff is a trick for the unwary.

Re:Where's the ethics of people who write this stu (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43908589)

"I've written new software that can use the wifi signals bouncing around in your home to help you change channels on your TV, or possibly give surreptitious surveillance to any law enorcement agency that can get a bullshit warrant from a rubber stamp judge. We promise it will only be used to help you change the TV channel."

Do programmers even filter this stuff through their conscience any more?

.

Yes, we do. However, on the one hand, we come up with ways to make life (allegedly) easier and more entertaining. On the other hand, you have people who would gladly snoop by bouncing rocks off your house and listening to the echoes if they could et away with it. Bouncing light beams off glass windows to "hear" what was being said inside, in fact was a spy trick that probably dates back to the 1950's.

People with evil intent are with us always, and as far as I'm concerned, the most evil of the lot are the ones who do it because they're "the good guys". To them, inventors and programmers are just one more set of tools to be exploited.

Roke Manor (3, Interesting)

A non moose cow (610391) | about a year ago | (#43908395)

Branching from an idea from over a decade ago. http://tech.mit.edu/V121/N63/Stealth.63f.html [mit.edu]

Re:Roke Manor (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | about a year ago | (#43909051)

I was thinking the same thing but couldn't remember any of the specifics. I'm glad you had the link handy. This note is in lieu of mod points, since I don't have any right now.

Invitation to Upgrade (1)

abirdman (557790) | about a year ago | (#43908397)

This is not unlike 3D video, a sort-of-possibly-good feature that requires upgrades to a large subset of your electronics. I have some old but serviceable stereo components, and my TV is 5 years old, which is old in the TV industry as it is-- heck, the remote control on the TV doesn't even work, so changing inputs is tricky. Most of my stuff will not work with this rig. Airport is similar. It kind of works, with lots of gotchas (no oggs in your library, right? And that iPod Touch is too old to stay connected after it goes to sleep, and then requires a power-off reset, right?).

This new feature is an invitation to upgrade a bunch of tech. Of course, logically all that tech needs to be refreshed every 5 years or so anyway. I don't think the motion input is a compelling feature, and hence not worth the investment. I don't use Siri on my phone either. Maybe I'm just too old to learn a new input method.

"Mommy, why are our neighbor's lights flashing?" (3, Funny)

sehlat (180760) | about a year ago | (#43908409)

I'll tell you when you're older, dear.

Disney Sequel: (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43908427)

"Luke, pull my finger!"

Doppler (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908429)

Its basically in hole Doppler radar powered by wifi. It can see motion toward and away from the transmitters and receivers. Thanks to having multiple antennas, multiple transmitters, and reflections, it can see motion in many places, in many directions. However, I don't think they have a good way to get absolute location, or absolute direction in most cases. This means it can minimally pick up some gestures, isn't great at general spying (it can't tell who you are, or where). All the demoed gestures seemed to be multi-part sequences, I assume to prevent most false positives, which suggest its accuracy is quite low (as expected).

So in short, it might work for the intended use, but is pretty bad at general spying without significant knowledge of the space its installed in, and a good deal of work. (If you knew where the doorways and rooms were and where the device is, I bet you could detect which ones were open, when people passed between room, when people were home etc, but not much beyond that). Thats still pretty creepy.

It might be useful in security contexts: put it in your workplace, It can log/notify when things are moving around when the shouldn't be. Darn cheep multi room security (unfortunately it might also be able to see outside and get some false positives, or that might be useful in some cases)

This is just another example of why I wish my modem and router and wifi were separate (like they used to be): I could install cool tech like this if I wanted, without replacing the whole thing, and be able to configure my router (which would not at all controlled by the ISP/modem) to block any attempt for it to send outgoing stuff. The whole integrated modem rounter wifi thing is a horrible concept.

Anime Powers (2)

deadcrow (946749) | about a year ago | (#43908435)

So, all of those fancy gestures they make in anime to make their powers work is just them communicating with their weapons on a wi-fi network?

Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908483)

Batman had that years ago...

I see a problem (4, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about a year ago | (#43908505)

Okay, I'm working on a report on my laptop while watching Sean Hannity. Sean says something annoying, I give him the finger - and then my laptop shuts down without saving my work!

NOT like Kinect in an important way... (3, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43908511)

According to TFA, this detects *movement* by Doppler shift in the wireless signal - yet it describes it as "similar to Xbox Kinect" but with a bunch of advantages.

However, Kinect doesn't just detect motion - it detects and reports skeletal position regardless of movement. Major differences in potential applications there (especially as the Kinect 2.0 has the resolution to detect finger position/movement as well) - probably not that great for most games.

One thing I can think of that this could be great for - home security. The current crappy IR motion sensors have to have semi-line of sight and (despite what they advertise) are NOT very pet-friendly (especially for large dogs). So, as long as it can tell the difference between a St. Bernard and a guy in a St. Bernard costume...

Re:NOT like Kinect in an important way... (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43909637)

Of course, it's not actually as good as a regular, cheap motion sensor.

Re:NOT like Kinect in an important way... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43909895)

Of course, it's not actually as good as a regular, cheap motion sensor.

Apparently it works off of ambient RF in the house with a single AP that can detect motion (including specific gestures) anywhere in its range. *IF* it does what they say it does (who knows...) then it's WAY better than a cheap (IR) motion sensor. Especially if it can be programmed to ignore my cat and dog :)

Gesture control is so Space: 1999... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908541)

Gesturing hands over pastel multicolored panels? Keith Wilson is spinning in his grave! What are needed now are the cool-as-all-heck pulsating droning sounds like "reh-reh-reh-reh-reh/wehhhhhhnngooooowehhhhhhhnngooooo".

As seen on TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43908559)

Continuum, S1 E7

Think of the surveillance possibilities! (1)

bmk67 (971394) | about a year ago | (#43908579)

/me puts tinfoil hat on wireless router.

Re:Think of the surveillance possibilities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909005)

Governments and PIs will likely have something better then a Pringle's can. If this sort of thing gets truly well developed, we should probably consider a Faraday cage etc around the house and getting off the grids. As technology develops, who knows the limits on being able to scan waveforms and particles that can pass right through most anything and transform it into visible and/or auditory information. There is almost always more bandwidth on wiring and fiber it seems, just find a different frequency to use and a way to create and read it, similarly with other waveforms, just have to tighten the control on the signal for transmission, reception and interpretation. Our bodies produce and react to such things as well, such is the reasoning on StarTrek's Tricorders and ship's scanner dish futuristic predictions. Virtually any wiring can act as an antenna, transformer, etc, results variant on length, ratios, and other factors.

Not for Italian grandmothers (2)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#43908789)

It's great until your Italian grandmother comes by for a visit.

Re:Not for Italian grandmothers (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43910159)

"What happened here?"

"Grandmother visited from Italy."

"Were there any survivors?"

Can you use it to monitor movements? (1)

Gax (196168) | about a year ago | (#43908897)

Neat, though I wonder about the privacy issues of its widespread use. If you can scan for a doppler frequency shift in the next room and record change over time, you could capture your neighbours position over time and render their movements on-screen.

Obligatory sci-fi reference: Continuum [youtube.com] did something like this last year.

Welcome to 1956 (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year ago | (#43909025)

"These walls are solid Krell metal" said Dr. Morbeus. He waved his hand over the electrode and the walls slammed quickly into place.

  -- Forbidden Planet

Re:Welcome to 1956 (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43910153)

Well, but, except for the krell metal, we could do that since 1948 (when the phototransistor was invented).

Now, just making cabalistic gestures at empty air and making complex things happen... I'm trying to think of a non-fantasy story that had this.

modt up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909067)

during )thdis file

What wifi hardware outputs doppler shifts? (1)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | about a year ago | (#43909129)

So this tech seems to use doppler shift of signals.

While I am sure some wifi hardware measures doppler shift to try to correct for it and get better reception in moving vehicles, none that I know of makes this info available to the driver, let alone exposes it to any program running on the router/laptop/phone.

So how does this work?

Hope you can opt out better than with smartphones (3, Interesting)

dAzED1 (33635) | about a year ago | (#43909605)

I had an S3, and the damn thing drove me insane. One can turn off gestures for the core phone, but then you have to turn it off for every app as well, and guess what...some apps don't allow one to do so. Such as, I dunno, the default web browser. Which is just awesome for someone with a movement disorder such as mine (somewhat similar to parkisons). The damn phone was damn near unusable.

If my whole house started doing such as a requisite for simply getting bloody internet access, I would officially flip the fark out - sell off everything I own, and move to Costa Rica where I'd spend the rest of my days drinking whiskey from a coconut, while sitting on the beach in Punta Uva. Which really, sounds like a win, but my wife said she won't let me unless I legit go insane...and damnit, she knows.

Sidebars aside, sucks that some companies make their interfaces go such directions. Somewhat like back when it became impossible to find a cell phone which was only a cell phone and had no camera, I fear much will continue going down the route of touch and gestures...things which I, alas, can't do with finesse. (is this where I tell you punk kids to get off my lawn?)

Voice recognition is a must (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43909703)

Really, there needs to be something that distinguishes accidental gestures with legitimate ones. Most likely, people will just use voice recognition to activate controls, with physical gestures for fine tweaks.

Me: "Computer, I want to dim the lights."
Computer: "How much??"
Me: Spreads hands apart as the lights dim, till I'm satisfied.

Or maybe I'll just be happy to state that I want the lights dimmed by X percent. Maybe I'll get used to that and find that hand gestures suck.

All this article shows is that we'll have whole-home gesture recognition sooner, rather than later. The usability of such a system still needs work.

Begs the question (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43909715)

How long before they can "see" what people are doing inside their homes by reconstructing movement and position data through listening in on the electric cables down the street? Tin foil, anyone?

Re:Begs the question (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43910127)

Excuse me, I need to go shut off my router.

Any sufficiently advanced technology.... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43910119)

...you know the rest. This could get interesting.

Total Surveillance is now here, forever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43910209)

Yes, it will be so convenient to have 'remote control' of your media devices just by waving your arms in the air, unfortunately that same technology will end forever any sort of 'freedom', this will bring our wretched society into the total surveillance state.

And you call yourselves geeks! (1)

QuickSilver_999 (166186) | about a year ago | (#43910381)

No one remembers this from Isaac Asimov's Robots of Dawn? Seriously?

The Clapper (1)

mea2214 (935585) | about a year ago | (#43910697)

Clap on. Clap off. The Clapper.
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