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MIT Develops "Kinect of the Future"

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with dept.

Input Devices 76

itwbennett writes "Using radio signals, MIT researchers can pinpoint someone's location — through a wall — with accuracy of +/- 10 centimeters. Fadel Adib, a Ph.D student on the project, said that gaming could be one use for the technology, but that localization is also very important. He said that Wi-Fi localization, or determining someone's position based on Wi-Fi, typically requires the user to hold a transmitter, like a smartphone for example. '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,' he said. 'What is impressive is that our accuracy is higher than even state of the art Wi-Fi localization.'"

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All their toys (1, Insightful)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#45114621)

The bourgeoisie thinks it is all powerful and will rule forever. But when the working class starts to move, their techno prisons wil crumble to dust! Workers of the world, unite!

Re:All their toys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45120469)

he says while using his computer to check the internet news

Cue Military application in ... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | about a year ago | (#45114627)

this will be suppressed and classified in 1, 2, 3...

Re:Cue Military application in ... (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#45114789)

Yeah, getting that genie back in the bottle will surely be successful. Right.

Re:Cue Military application in ... (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45115735)

Well, the "bottle" in this case requires "three radio antennas spaced about a meter apart and pointed at a wall and A desk full wires and circuits to generate and interpret the radio waves.".

So keep an eye out for those things appearing in your home, and be forewarned that suddenly appearing antennas and a large amount of circuitry might indicate someone wants to know exactly when you are in front of the TV. When its small enough to be built into the TV, you might not notice it, but a camera would be more effective.

In the meantime, ignore that black police van parked across the street which can read your actual location in real time using your heat signature.

Re:Cue Military application in ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115941)

Do you recall a herf gun discussion on Slashdot many months ago? That one seems succesfully buried.

Re:Cue Military application in ... (1)

psithurism (1642461) | about a year ago | (#45128283)

Classification doesn't need to be successful: there are people whose job it is to classify things and to show how hard they are working, they have to classify a lot of things. If your work is for a military use, sometimes things as unclassifiable as printouts from Wikipedia that you have used may have to be locked up in classified storage with big red "CLASSIFIED" stamps on them. Then any work that used that information has to be classified as well.

I don't know about any jobs that involve the suppression of sources of classified information, but then the existence of those jobs would probably be classified and have to be classified, so, wow, clearly they are pretty good at it, so they'll probably be successful. So prepare for undetectable remote knowledge deletion in 3...2...

Re:Cue Military application in ... (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year ago | (#45114861)

Why suppress and classify? Encourage everyone to have one in the home and have a backdoor installed. That would fit with the usual NSA modus operandi.

Re:Cue Military application in ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115257)

so the NSA can tell the CIA were exactly to put the bullet through the wall or in in case of a bigger building the drone or cruise missile.

Are cruise missiles up to chasing Arnie down the main concourse of an airport terminal?

Re:Cue Military application in ... (2)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about a year ago | (#45115265)

This was classified in 1,2,3 ... in 1941, 1942, 1943.
Since then, radar has been declassified.

Slashdot editors: Please add a few lines in the summary to trigger interest for futue inserts.
Currently this one just says "researchers at MIT built a radar" - and what is the news in that?
In the editors' defence the article doesn't say that much more, either.

Re:Cue Military application in ... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about a year ago | (#45119295)

You mean it will be suppressed and classified in 1996 and will only be released to the public in 2013, two years after passive shielding is developed and the first soldiers are equipped with active scanners to pinpoint "through-the-wall kinect" sensors from 200m away?

military applications (5, Interesting)

Barbarian (9467) | about a year ago | (#45114635)

I am sure if you can easily pinpoint humans through a wall with 10 cm accuracy, you will see this funded and developed by your favourite defense contractors. Sniper rifle with wallhack, anyone?

Re:military applications (2)

moschner (3003611) | about a year ago | (#45114817)

My first thought was to use it in search and rescue. It would be very useful to be able to detect people trapped under rubble or inside a burning building. Send in a small robot with its own wifi and find out where people are trapped. With a little refinement, maybe it could be built into first responder gear or firefighter helmets.

Re:military applications (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45114927)

It would be very useful to be able to detect people trapped under rubble

I'd assume that one of the features is that it detects people by means of detecting *changes* in the signal, not by magically reconstructing a 3D picture of anything static from a few waveforms. People trapped under rubble sort of tend to not walk around in open space a lot.

Re:military applications (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#45115291)

Maybe flailing your limbs around is asking too much. However, if we're lucky just the acting of breathing itself will produce enough of a change to detect a person?

Re:military applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45116393)

With an accuracy of +/- 10 cm I wouldn't count on it.

Re:military applications (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year ago | (#45120553)

I think it has more to do with the relative density and reflectivity (in relation to wifi waves) of the human body than movement...
Though again, that's basically just ultrasound with light radiation.

Re:military applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45116013)

There are better ways to detect people in rubble than depending on WiFi.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-290

BTW, robots aren't needed. Just pick a technique that can penetrate 10-20 meters of rubble.

Re:military applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115629)

It already is being researched by them, as well as another version that uses ambient light bouncing off seemingly non-useful surfaces for reflection and reconstructing the view around the corner. Not sure how long that took again. Oh actually Malakai linked it below somewhere, yeah, have a read on that.
Laser camera sees around corners [slashdot.org]

Whether it is in the field is another question, likely needs more testing plus it won't work too well with some materials or certain densities, and even frequencies, there will be this dark range that can't really be reached without using dangerous frequencies.

Re:military applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45122809)

I am sure if you can easily pinpoint humans through a wall with 10 cm accuracy, you will see this funded and developed by your favourite defense contractors.

Sure, you just need your enemies to stay alone in an empty room, surrounded by empty rooms. Oh, and you need to calibrate your equipment on that exact room before hand.

Sniper rifle with wallhack, anyone?

Not even close.

Re:military applications (1)

ChoosyBeggar (2969823) | about a year ago | (#45125055)

Just what I was thinking. Coupled with AR-googles, you've got "x-ray vision" of sorts. Better still if sonar is giving density cues on the walls between you & your target(s)...

LOL Americans (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114637)

a trillion dollars of technology evolution and the best thing they can do with it is spy on people, seems as if the NSA spying isnt an anomaly but deeply ingrained into the culture

a culture obsessed with finding out what other people are doing and by god we will use our best minds and young adults in school to achieve it !

Re:LOL Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114665)

If the price is low, parents will now really have "eyes in the back of their heads" to keep track of their kids.

LOL Stupids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114723)

Their disdain for Americans is so great that when they hear about a cool new technology with many possible applications, they immediately knee-jerk to the one application that fits their pet stereotypes. And they forget (LOL!) that places like MIT have students and faculty from all over the world.

Re:LOL Americans (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#45114943)

Or maybe some people just wanted to do some cool fucking research. Everything isn't about the damn NSA and spying - and I know this is hard to swallow - but some people like engineering cool gadgets, solving new puzzles, and pushing the boundaries of knowledge and technology.

Point it that way and pull the trigger. (3, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#45114651)

>Using radio signals, MIT researchers can pinpoint someone's location — through a wall — with accuracy of +/- 10 centimeters. Fadel Adib, a Ph.D student on the project, said that gaming could be one use for the technology,

I suspect killing people will be higher on the list of priorities of certain funding bodies.
 

Re:Point it that way and pull the trigger. (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about a year ago | (#45116029)

But we already have tools that do that - being able to put that in the living room is the step forward.

Crazy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114667)

It looks like lining the walls with foil wasn't so stupid after all.

NR

through a wall with simple structure, maybe (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114677)

Yes, people have been doing "radar through walls" with all manner of signals for decades.
Here's the problem.. works fine on a simple homogenous wall: the wall looks like a sheet of glass to the radar.

Now, what if that wall is more like pebble or frosted glass? Or say, glass blocks (which is what standard concrete blocks or bricks look like at microwave frequencies.

What if the house were a "hall of mirrors" since the walls can reflect microwave signals, and some goes through. What about furniture?

Sure, one *could* with enough measurements and computation figure all this stuff out (it's called an inversion problem), and then calculate what's actually going on.

Detecting the reflections is the easy part. We've all done that with over the air TV back in rabbit ear days. Turning that into an image is substantially more challenging.

"Kinect of the Future" ships with XBox one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114697)

We already have a "Kinect of the Future". It will be shipping with the new XBox. Also, this story isn't new, its a dupe of an old one. Also, its drastically lower precision than the Kinect, and who wants their game system to watch them through their walls with accuracy too low to play games with? This tech is interesting, but it is not the same nitch as the kinetc.

MIT also can see around corners.... (1)

malakai (136531) | about a year ago | (#45114709)

Awesome new form of porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114713)

Will this enable me to "watch" (on TV) my hot neighbor have sex?!

Re:Awesome new form of porn (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#45115107)

If your neighbor is hot, passive IR imaging might be the way to go here.

Not a game controller. Not of the future (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | about a year ago | (#45114731)

Using radio waves to track position/movement is VERY far from new. Even imaging through walls is extremely old hat. A control interface with 10cm+/- resolution would be drastically worse than any current game controller.

This isn't for gaming - it's use would be primarily for surveillance and automated 'security' tools of various kinds. It's not Xbox - its NSA/military/creepy 'spy' tools.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Not a game controller. Not of the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114775)

MIT are run by a bunch of Multi-NaziZion-al sheisters. Anyone get a GOOD job after graduating from there?

Was it not in the late `80`s MIT published micro-gearing, micro-pulleys, micro-cables?? I cannot "SEE" (pun intended) the progress they have made since developing the MICRO-SCALE gear pods all those (when was that,exactly?) years ago.

So much for your quadruple bypass!

Re: Not a game controller. Not of the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45116641)

They did go lower but hit on quantum entanglement...

FCC regulations for civilian use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114841)

If they are pitching it for gaming, I guess it should abide by FCC regulations for civilian use. If that is indeed the case, it would be the first device/technology that can achieve anything close to this accuracy using radio waves (and even through walls) while abiding by FCC regulations for consumer electronics.

Re:Not a game controller. Not of the future (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#45114853)

The Supreme Court has already ruled government cannot use passive IR scanners to look clumsily through walls without a warrant. This would be even worse, and clearly will be abused anyway.

Re:Not a game controller. Not of the future (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114911)

Such as this Google Tech Talk from 2008: Device-free Passive Localization for Wireless Environments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PiMimSrP7A

Re:Not a game controller. Not of the future (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#45120979)

Yeah years (or even a decade) ago there was already tech (whether narrow band or UWB) that could detect the movement of someone _breathing_ behind walls. That's a lot smaller than 10cm movement.

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/06/01/08/0753222/military-device-will-sense-through-concrete-walls [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/story/01/04/17/2339212/scanning-for-people-through-walls [slashdot.org]

As for gaming, let's see what the latency figures are first.

If Slashdotters today regard this as exciting and interesting perhaps they should start looking at Slashdot articles 5-10 years ago. They might find even more interesting stuff there than on Slashdot's frontpages today.

Home Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114735)

This is one of those technologies that will help form a basis to fully integrated home automation. All the fear around this being used for less casual uses may have some merit but I am pretty sure this could be easily circumvented with something similar to a faraday cage placed in the walls of a building. Might require some retrofitting but if you are really that worried (or have reason to be that worried) about the potential for a sniper or spy using this to track you in your home then it seems like it would be relatively defeatable. Maybe the personal faraday cage suite industry will get a boom from this, but I suspect not.

Preventive tech? (2)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about a year ago | (#45114791)

As a counter measure, I was wondering: can this be stopped by designing the right wall?

If you make a wall that scatters a lot back due to a non-homogenous constitution or imperfections, will there be enough reflections to make the system useless? And is that a universal flaw (i.e no matter what type of radar you build, a single "well designed" wall can thwart all such systems)? Or does the wall need to be designed specific to the frequency/design of the detector?

The reason I ask is that I consider this is likely to be an invasion of privacy - "we didn't need a warrant to track the subject, the neighbor was a perv. who had the scanner, and came forward (and we aren't filing charges against him for $unrelated_crime)." It would be nice if a low-tech solution can thwart this.

Re:Preventive tech? "window" (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about a year ago | (#45114811)

The traditional approach for jamming radar is lots of small slivers of metal foil. In this case nails hammered into the timber frame might do the trick. Maybe even electrical wiring would work (esp. if you carry data over it, too).

I bet this radar is not too clever when metalised insulation panels are used in the wall cavities, either.

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114869)

Given that with today's technology, it would be tough to do realistic "through the wall imaging", especially with a WiFi as the illuminator. Google reports from the Army Research Lab on "Through the Wall Radar" for some real data.
Let's assume, though, that there's enough processing power to solve the substantial problems of making an imager using WiFi as a practical fieldable device (as opposed to a mass of wires on a desk, and tracking one moving target in the empty next room through a thin wall).

But yes, if you made a wall with a lot of scatterers, that would make life difficult. But recall that it can be "range gated", which sets a limit on how much you can do in the way of a "wall".

And you can put any thoughts of building a "shielded room" out of your mind. It doesn't take much a small gap to allow *some* propagation in (quick example.. put your cell phone in a microwave oven and close the door on that mini shielded room: call your cell phone and listen to it ring).

Your best bet is an active jammer of some sort.

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#45115089)

But you may never know when or where you'll need to jam/confuse such radar. Better to have some inflatable Mylar balloons of a roughly human shape and size. When you find yourself in a room and at risk of detection, you inflate them and let them drift around you in the room. Too many targets confuses the radar operator/assassin.

If you shield one room, your attacker will be able to identify your hiding place. Or the location of activities you don't want observed.

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year ago | (#45114877)

Stealth technology merging with home design, lots of curved surfaces and irregular density walls in the ideal home of the future.

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

weilawei (897823) | about a year ago | (#45116821)

So, a log cabin?

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

fishicist (777318) | about a year ago | (#45115017)

Imaging through scattering media, for noble causes such as medical imaging, is a current and productive research area in optics. You can account for essentially arbitrary scattering as long as it doesn't change quickly. While the technology would be different, but I expect that the mathematics and the techniques already exist to thwart and such wall which you might design.

On the other hand, a 5mm sheet of aluminium ought to do the trick. :)

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

weilawei (897823) | about a year ago | (#45116837)

Mod up informative!

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

macemoneta (154740) | about a year ago | (#45115075)

Google "foil wallpaper". It's electrically conductive and once grounded you have a Faraday cage.

Re:Preventive tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115415)

metal wall would probably do what you are looking for.... if it doesn't, make every room a faraday cage and then if definately would

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

dix719 (963933) | about a year ago | (#45122949)

The reason I ask is that I consider this is likely to be an invasion of privacy - "we didn't need a warrant to track the subject, the neighbor was a perv. who had the scanner, and came forward (and we aren't filing charges against him for $unrelated_crime)." It would be nice if a low-tech solution can thwart this.

This sounds like a job for the "old-school" Aluminum Foil hats...

Re:Preventive tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45126103)

As a counter measure, I was wondering: can this be stopped by designing the right wall?

yeah, it's called a cave.

Re:Preventive tech? (1)

KVM (2949923) | about a year ago | (#45129503)

Well a faraday cage for starters could block all radio frequencies, and a mesh cage like the thing that line up microwave door could selectively block some wavelengths, like microwave door allows visible light to pass but doesn't allow microwave to pass. And the faraday cage could be a nice metal foil or mesh sticked to the wall

Meanwhile, editors can't edit (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#45114903)

"Shown publicly this week for the first time the project from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Laboratory (CSAIL) "

I think the most impressive part is not that they can do it, but that they developed it in an artificial laboratory! (i.e. Should be Artificial Intelligence laboratory.) So basically, while the MIT guys can detect things trough walls, your typicall IT World editor can't get an extremely small article right. Worse yet, the typo has been there since October 11, 2013, 12:14 PM. Really IT World? Really?

Future apartment feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45114913)

Metal-mesh wallpaper

MIT KILLED AARON SCHARTZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115001)

never forget

Re:MIT KILLED AARON SCHARTZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115129)

Who?

Thank you XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115065)

So, it's come to this.

They're running it in Ubuntu (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about a year ago | (#45115207)

It's really sad that even though I really had no interest in this topic, I watched the video just because the video preview clearly showed they were using Ubuntu. Yet, disappointingly, they didn't cover anything about the control interface they were using; this could be used as a push for gaming on Linux desktops, especially since they don't have plans to make money off of it, and could hence afford to have a slow start.

MIT = MURDEROUS INSTITUTE OF TERROR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115227)

MIT works around the clock to find new ways of slaughtering and dominating the world's population

Re:MIT = MURDEROUS INSTITUTE OF TERROR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45116857)

I'm not sure if this is +1 Troll or +1 Insightful vis a little thing called the "rat race".

Headline is a lie (1)

Gibgezr (2025238) | about a year ago | (#45115233)

+/- 10 cm resolution is not in any way useful as a "Kinect of the future".
Why did this become a story on slashdot? It's total crap.

Re:Headline is a lie (1)

thejynxed (831517) | about a year ago | (#45116721)

I take it you missed the part where that +/- 10 cm was THROUGH A WALL.

Re:Headline is a lie (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45120497)

..yeah? since when is kinect supposed to work through a wall?

this is this years update on what they did last year at the same place. they couldn't find any real use for it so they slapped a game on it.

Re:Headline is a lie (1)

Gibgezr (2025238) | about a year ago | (#45134637)

Are you implying that, where the wall not there, this would then qualify as a "Kinect of the future"?

What kind of future are we working towards? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45115993)

I wonder if the people researching this stuff ever think of the real life implications of the technology. Do they really want a world where they have no privacy even inside their own home or bedroom? not to mention all the people this tech will enable military and police to more easily kill.

I wish I could have a reaction of "oh wow that's pretty cool" but instead it's just depressing. I don't want to go back to the dark ages but I no longer really get enthusiastic with the way technology is moving these days. it's all about making a colder more controlled and confined world where every day people are being made irrelevant and obsolete.

There is no utopia coming where people don't have to work. If you do not produce wealth in some fashion you will be thrown into the dust bin of history to starve to death and quietly die on a street corner somewhere. automation is not going to be your savior. What are we going to do when 90% of the population is unemployable due to the advancement of automation and robotics. What will life be like in that new dystopia where everything you do is fully controlled and monitored by machines in a police state that even George Orwell could never even begin to imagine?

I wonder if anyone even asks these questions anymore I feel like we are running full speed off the side of a cliff and anyone that think's that is not such a great idea is just scoffed at. Technology should be about serving humanity and making it better not about controlling and enslaving us.

Re:What kind of future are we working towards? (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about a year ago | (#45121127)

To answer your question of what it would be like? See the movie 'Elysium'.

Re:What kind of future are we working towards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45121983)

It's going to happen no matter what. If not these people then it will be someone else. This is the beginning of the data mining age. Even right now most people would be surprised by what various systems are capable of.

I Want... (1)

JohnPerkins (243021) | about a year ago | (#45116311)

Something with reclining leather seats, that goes really fast, and gets really shitty gas mileage.

mod 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45116689)

ink SplashEs across

fuck these people. shameful bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45118183)

fuck off with your new big brother gadget. i hope you fail utterly

all you need now is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45118997)

xray vision to keep playing halo when you gotta run to the bathroom.

cool gadget (1)

sumitjadhav137 (3012081) | about a year ago | (#45119983)

interesting......
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