Even though this type of detection was considered to be fantasy, scientists at MIT stated that with just $300, x-ray vision becomes reality through the use of wi-fi signal readings. The study revolving around this type of detection has been underway since 2012 but only today it managed to bear fruit.
The idea came from the fact that wireless signals can already pass through walls, allowing users to control different devices scattered around their house or just connect to the internet through a router. Why couldn’t this be applied to humans as well, scientists thought, taking into account that the signals would slightly bounce back, identifying certain objects inside a room.
After that was considered, the next step was discerning if these signals could also track movement in real time. The answer to this was also yes, eventually leading to a form of x-ray vision. The signals in question are sent by a device, go around the room and then get picked up by said device again. The information is portrayed in the form of a red dot that stands still or moves at different speeds, depending on the actions of the tracked target.
This does not stop here, the device also being capable of picking up heartbeat rates, as well as breathing patterns. If the technology is advanced further, it will eventually be capable of portraying the target’s skeleton in extreme detail, allowing for decisive identification to be made possible.
Even though this might seem at first glance as a breaking of privacy laws, the device doesn’t work by simply pointing it at a wall. It requires an extensive network comprised by several devices to be scattered around the house. Even so, the tracked target would have no knowledge of the fact it is being spied upon by said device.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology team involved in this discovery will create next year the company named Emerald, which will focus on the marketing possibilities of the device. Their goal is to launch a commercial version by the year 2017, at a price range between $270 and $300 per unit.
The applications of x-ray vision currently considered are in the health department. Hospitals and families will be able to track their children or elderly people through walls, with the device having the added function of contacting a previously selected person or caretaker in the case of a fall or emergency.
The military and law enforcement applications of said technology are considered as well. It will let SWAT teams, for instance, track hostage situations through walls, and even identify terrorists hiding behind various objects, allowing a sniper, for example, to take the shot even if he doesn’t actually see the target. This technology is priceless in the military department as well, with drones equipped with x-ray vision being able to spot hidden hideouts or other similar locations.
Even if x-ray vision becomes possible through the use of wi-fi, the technology behind it still has a ways to go before becoming commercially viable. But its use in different areas of our society, ranging from homes to military installations, is priceless to say the least.